Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

Copyright N. Schultheiss. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

* Report News

M.A.C. Gagne Scrap Tow Progresses


The tug Doug McKeil, towing the M.A.C. Gagne were crossing Lake Erie Thursday and expected to reach Long Point in eastern Lake Erie about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night. The tow is heading for the Welland Canal where it will meet up with an additional tug to assist the tow through the Canal. It will likely undergo a standard inspection before transiting the Seaway.

Early estimates of her arrival in Montreal are suggesting some time on Sunday, possibly early morning.

When the tow reaches Montreal, the saltwater tug Simoon is expected to take over for the trip to a Bangladesh scrapyard. Meanwhile, another saltwater tug, the Akhtiar, is enroute to Montreal and is expected to tow the former Algoma Central bulker Algosound to Alang. The Algosound was sold last fall but the scrap tow was delayed until winter weather had passed.

Reported by: Kent Malo, Barry Hiscocks

Photos passing Detroit
Tow downbound
Doug McKeil
MAC Gagne
Faded "Canada Steamship Lines" billboard
Close up
Tow passing

Photos by Mike Nicholls
Tow passing Grassy Island
Doug McKeil
MAC Gagne
Stern view

Photos by Justin Kreimes and Nathan Nietering
Off Belle Isle from the Diamond Queen
Doug McKeil
Close up of MAC Gagne bow
Wyoming at the stern
The slow moving tow took the Belle Isle side of the channel to allow the taconite laden Herbert C. Jackson to pass.
Another view

Photos by Paul Hoffmeyer
Above Belle Isle
Doug McKeil leading

Image captures From the Dossin Webcam sent in by Chuck Drummond
Tow passing
Close up of stern
Wyoming on the stern

Historic photos courtesy: Marc Vander Meulen
Saguenay on July 13, 1980
As a straight-decker in the Welland Canal.
Undated stern view


Port Report


Twin Ports Report

The tug Miss Laura left port May 25 towing the new 70-foot fuel barge Greenstone II. The barge, the first new vessel built at Fraser Shipyards in Superior in about 40 years, will carry fuel from Houghton, Mich., to Isle Royale National Park.

Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior is scheduled to get a rare visit May 29: David Z. Norton is due to unload 5,000 tons of limestone. This is the first time in recent memory that a vessel has unloaded at this busy dock. Terminal officials have been talking about increasing the facility's storage space, so the stone is likely part of that plan.

Midwest Energy Terminal remains busy. James R. Barker was unloading May 26 with Columbia Star due May 27 and Algolake, Indiana Harbor and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. all due May 28.

Most of the usual vessels are doing the heavy lifting at the terminal this season. Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Indiana Harbor, Oglebay Norton and Columbia Star are frequent callers for the Oglebay Norton/American Steamship combine. New this season is St. Clair, which is making fairly frequent calls so far. This vessel was once a regular at the dock but in recent years was shifted to other duties. For Interlake Steamship Co., the prime coal mover this season is Paul R. Tregurtha. The vessel is booked solid through June, with loading scheduled for May 30 and June 4, 7, 13, 18, 24 and 29. Also making some coal trips are James R. Barker, Mesabi Miner and Kaye E. Barker.

Reported by Al Miller

Green Bay
Wednesday evening the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great lakes Trader were at C. Reiss Coal unloading. As the barge was tight to the old RR bridge, the tug was independent of the barge. The Paul H. Townsend was alongside the S.T. Crapo unloading cargo.

On Tuesday the Lake Express came off the dry dock at Bayship.

Reported by: Wendell Wilke


The Saginaw made a trip to Marquette on a rainy Tuesday.  The Jackson had been in to the Shiras dock with a load of coal, and then moved to the upper harbor for a load or ore on Monday.  The Lee A. Tregurtha and Michipicoten are expected this week, as well as the James Barker with a load of coal.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Saginaw River

Things picked up on the Saginaw River Wednesday after a slow couple of days.  The tug Barbara Andrie and her tank barge were inbound Wednesday morning, calling on the Bit-Mat dock to unload.  She was still at the dock late in the evening.
The tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge were outbound from the Dow Chemical dock late in the evening after unloading there during the day.
The Sam Laud was inbound Wednesday evening headed for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.  After more substantial rains the past week, the current is now worse in the Saginaw River that it was last week when the Canadian Transfer and Alpena were stuck upriver unable to turn.  This current caused problems for the Laud in making the Bay Agg. dock and her Captain made arrangements with the Barbara Andrie for help in getting into the slip.  Ironically, the Andrie is the same tug that was used to free the Transfer and the Alpena.  It is expected the Sam Laud will be outbound Thursday morning.

Reported by: Todd Shorkey and Lon Morgan


Algolake departing.
Herbert C. Jackson downbound on the Detroit River.
Inbound the Rouge River.
Another view.
Arriving at Rouge Steel.
Buffalo downbound Detroit River.

Photos by: Mike Nicholls

Halifax downbound off Zug Island.
Stern view.
American Spirit unloading at Zug Island.  (The oil boom installation had nothing to do with the Spirit.)
Stern view.
C.C.G.S. Gull Isle upbound off Belanger Park, River Rouge.

Photos by: Don Coles 5/22
Capt. Henry Jackman unloading Windsor Stone Dock.
Nanticoke loading at Zug Island.
Close up.

Heavy rains have pushed the Cuyahoga River above flood stage for two days and nearly halted shipping in the city. The David Norton was docked at ISG on Saturday and Sunday waiting for current to subside. An unidentified Hannah barge and tug were also berthed near ISG.

On Saturday afternoon the Peter R. Cresswell was unloading stone at dock 20 at the mouth of the river. The Earl Oglebay arrived with a load of stone for the old river bed and made a short transit upbound around 5 p.m. The Oglebay had the assistance of the G tug California and needed every bit of the tugs horsepower to fight the current and make the sharp turn into the old river bed. It was a difficult trip with several warning blasts to passing pleasure boaters and a close pass on the English River unloading at LaFarge cement.

On Sunday the river was still running too strong for transit so the Tug Cleveland and Barge Cleveland Rocks tied up at the lakefront docks to wait for favorable conditions. The James Barker made an unexpected visit and tied up at dock 30 for unknown reasons. The J.A.W. Iglehart was also in town unloading at LaFarge.

Reported by Rex Cassidy


At Toronto the two brigantines Pathfinder and Playfair are on Toronto Drydock having their hulls cleaned and painted. Empire Sandy is at the drydock getting yards placed on her masts. She will carry square-sails this season in addition to her schooner rigging. Empire Sandy is expected to depart Toronto on May 31 for Kingston, to pick up a charter June 1 for delivery at Brockville. She will then proceed to Montreal for a five day fireworks charter before returning to Toronto. Wayward Princess will be in Port Credit doing a charter on May 27.

Construction work on the new charter vessel Yankee Lady 4 continues at the Kaeting Channel. The bow and stern plating have been completed. The Port Authority's tug William Rest, which has been hauled out at Pier 35 for inspection the past few weeks, was sitting in slings under the Atlas crane Tuesday.

Rt. Hon. Paul Martin was in port for repairs Tuesday, departing early Wednesday morning for port weller anchorage.

The salty Milo departed Redpath Sugar dock late Saturday night.

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons


Expected in Montreal from Belledune, NB on Friday will be the tug Ollie J. This tug is the former Florence McKeil which was sold by McKeil a few months ago to Davis Shipping Ltd. of Wesleyville, Nfld.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Lake Express Damage Repaired; Service Should Start June 1


A new $18 million Milwaukee-to-Muskegon ferry was damaged as it sailed to Wisconsin from Alabama, the site of its construction, a U.S. Coast Guard commander said Tuesday.

The damage to a stabilizer on the Lake Express Ferry's right side has been repaired and should not delay the vessel's launch next week, Mark Hamilton, a commander at a Coast Guard station in Milwaukee, said in a story that moved over the Associated Press wire Tuesday.

Hamilton said the ferry suffered the damage when it struck the earth beneath the water's surface in Sturgeon Bay on May 18. But Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for Lake Express LLC, said the ferry suffered the damage when it struck a pier.

The Coast Guard, which will conduct another inspection of the Lake Express prior to the expected launch next Tuesday, was continuing its investigation, Hamilton said.

The ferry traveled from Sturgeon Bay to Milwaukee May 18 and then returned to Sturgeon Bay Monday for repairs before heading back to Milwaukee Tuesday, Fleming said.

Reported by: Associated Press


Posting of Pictures


I am behind with photo posting, and will be further delayed as I am working from a dial up connection. Please bear with me and continue to send in your pictures. I will post them when I can.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 27

CANADIAN PIONEER was launched May 27,1981

NANTICOKE was christened in 1980.

CHARLES DICK was launched in 1922.

The PETER REISS left Duluth, MN May 27, 1910 on her maiden voyage with iron ore for Ashtabula, OH.

HENRY STEINBRENNER (4) was towed from Toledo's Lakefront Dock in 1994 for the scrap yard at Port Maitland, Ont.

The tug SMITH burned near Bay City on 27 May 1872. Her loss was valued at $7,000 but there was no insurance on her.

The ferry SARNIA made her first trip as a carferry between Port Huron and Sarnia on 27 May 1879. She had burned in January 1879, then was converted to a carferry and served in that capacity during the summer. In September, 1879, she was converted to a barge.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


M.A.C. Gagne Scrap Tow Progresses

05/26 4 p.m. Update

The tug Doug McKeil, towing the M.A.C. Gagne (former CSL's Saguenay) were downbound on Lake Huron early Wednesday morning and expected to reach Lights 11 & 12 in lower Lake Huron about 2:35 a.m. The Doug McKeil will meet the tug Wyoming above Port Huron and reconfigure the tow with the Wyoming acting as trailing tug for the trip through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. The tow passed Belle Isle in the Detroit River about 11:40 a.m.

When the tow reaches Montreal, the saltwater tug Simoon is expected to take over for the trip to a Bangladesh scrapyard. Meanwhile, another saltwater tug, the Akhtiar, is enroute to Montreal and is expected to tow the former Algoma Central bulker Algosound to Alang. The Algosound was sold last fall but the scrap tow was delayed until winter weather had passed.

Reported by: Kent Malo, Barry Hiscocks

Image captures From the Dossin Webcam sent in by Chuck Drummond
Tow passing
Close up of stern
Wyoming on the stern

Historic photos courtesy: Marc Vander Meulen
Saguenay on July 13, 1980
As a straight-decker in the Welland Canal.
Undated stern view


Historic Lens Returns to Marblehead Lighthouse


The Marblehead Light Fresnel lens will return home its rightful place  next Tuesday at 11 a.m.

In a dedication ceremony, the Coast Guard will lend the five-foot, 300-plus pound lens to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation.  The lens will go on display in the keepers’ quarters at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park.  About 1.3 million people visit the park each year to learn about the lighthouse’s role in Lake Erie history.

The lens was manufactured in France and displayed at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair before being installed in the Marblehead Lighthouse tower. It helped give the lighthouse beacon its powerful 330,000 candlepower signal, which was visible for up to 16 miles on a clear night. Use of the lens continued into the era of electricity, until 1969, when it was dismantled and shipped to Detroit. Enterprising Marblehead residents recovered the lens a few years later and returned it to the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Marblehead where it has been stored ever since.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard employee James Woodward, a professional lighthouse keeper, supervised transfer of the lens from its storage area in the Coast Guard station to the on-site Keepers’ House. The move was made in accordance with U.S Interior Department guidelines and Coast Guard requirements. Staff from East Harbor State Park constructed the lens display unit.

“The Marblehead lens needed to assume its rightful place at the lighthouse,” said Senior Chief James Bordell of the U.S. Coast Guard Marblehead Station. “The Coast Guard was happy to assist in that effort.”

Marblehead Lighthouse, built in 1821, is the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes in continuous operation. It is located on the eastern-most tip of Marblehead Peninsula at the entrance to Sandusky Bay. The lighthouse, on-site Keepers’ House and surrounding grounds became a state park in 1998.

Reported by: U.S. Coast Guard


Posting of Pictures


I am behind with photo posting, and will be further delayed as I am working from a dial up connection. Please bear with me and continue to send in your pictures. I will post them when I can.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 26


On 26 May 1888, BLANCHE (2-mast wooden schooner, 95 foot, 92 gross tons, built in 1874 at Mill Point, Ontario) was carrying coal with a crew of five on Lake Ontario.  She was lost in a squall somewhere between Oswego, New York and Brighton, Ontario.

In 1979 the FRED R WHITE JR. departed the shipyard on her maiden voyage to load iron ore pellets at Escanaba, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio.

The J A W IGLEHART began its maiden Great Lakes voyage in 1965 for the Huron Portland Cement Co.

The straight deck bulk freighter FRANKCLIFFE HALL (2) began its maiden voyage in 1963.  Deepened and converted to a self-unloader in 1980.  Renamed b.) HALIFAX in 1988.

SCOTT MISENER (3) (Hull#14) was launched in 1954 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Colonial Steamships Ltd.

In 1923 the ANN ARBOR NO 4 was towed to the shipyard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin by the ANN ARBOR NO. 5 with the assistance of the tug ARTIC. The NO 4 was completely overhauled and had all new cabins built on her main deck.

QUEEN OF THE LAKES was launched at the Kirby & Ward yard in Wyandotte, Michigan on 26 May 1872. She was the first iron hulled vessel built in Michigan.

On 26 May 1873, the iron propeller revenue cutter GEO S BOUTWELL (Hull#15) was launched at D. Bell Steam Engine Works in Buffalo, New York. Her dimensions were 140' x 22' x 17.5', 151 gt. She served out of Savannah, Georgia (1874-1899) and Newbern, North Carolina (1899-1907).

The tug GORMAN, which was sunk by the steamer CITY OF BUFFALO was raised today.  She is not much injured.  The local steamboat inspectors have taken up the case of the collision.  The crew of the tug claim that their boat was run over by the CITY OF BUFFALO and the appearance of the wreck carries out their declaration, for the tug shows that the steamer struck her straight aft.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Today in Great Lakes History - May 25


On 25 May 1889, JAMES GARRETT (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 266 gross tons, built in 1868 at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was driven ashore at Whitefish Bay near Sheboygan, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan in a gale.  She was pounded to pieces by the end of the month.  No lives were lost.

On May 25, 1898, the PRESQUE ISLE (Hull#30) was launched at the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The vessel is much better known as the cement carrier E M FORD, celebrating her 103rd birthday.

May 25, 1941 -- The former Pere Marquette carferry PERE MARQUETTE 17 was re-christened CITY OF PETOSKEY.

The wooden schooner J C DAUN was in her first year of service when she encountered a squall in Lake Erie on 25 May 1847 and she capsized five miles off Conneaut, Ohio. Four of the eleven on board were able to make it to her upturned keel, but one of them died of exposure during the night. In the morning, the schooner UNCLE SAM rescued the three remaining survivors. Later the steamer SARATOGA found the DAUN floating upside down, fully rigged with the bodies of some of the crew still lashed to the rigging. The DAUN was righted a few days later and towed in by the schooner D SMART.

On 25 May 1854, DETROIT (wooden side-wheeler, 157 foot, 354 tons, built in 1846 at Newport, Michigan) was sailing from Detroit to Chicago with two lumber scows in tow. On Lake Huron, she collided with the bark NUCLEUS in heavy fog and sank. The exact location (15 miles off Pointe aux Barques) was not known until the wreck was discovered in 200' of water on 5 June 1994 by Dave Trotter and his determined divers.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


M.A.C. Gagne Scrap Tow Still at Soo, Ont. Dock Sunday Night

UPDATE: The tug Doug McKeil and M.A.C. Gagne, assisted by the local tugs Missouri and Adanac, departed the Export Dock at Algoma Steel at around 6:25 a.m. Monday, headed for the Poe Lock.


The M.A.C. Gagne, which is the former Canada Steamship Lines’ self-unloader Saguenay, which arrived at the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Export Dock Saturday, was still there as of Sunday night. She had been expected to leave Sunday morning. It is not known what the holdup is, although it could be due to the constant severe weather that has been the norm on Lake Huron since Thursday.

The 1964-built vessel is bound from Thunder Bay to Montreal, where another tug is expected to tow her to her final destination, a scrapyard in Bangladesh.

M.A.C Gagne at Algoma Export dock Sunday   (Photo by John Chomniak)

Reported by: Jerry Masson


Lake Level Rise Exceeds Expectations


Lakes Michigan and Huron are not only rising, they’re rising faster than normal for spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced last Thursday. 

The rise could signal a significant trend away from the low levels that have caused many shoreline problems in recent years. Lakes Michigan and Huron rose 7 inches in the last 30 days. That level is 9 inches higher than last year and only 14 inches below normal for May.

“All of the Great Lakes continue their seasonal rise,” a Corps report released on Thursday and published in newspapers around the Great Lakes said. “Lake Michigan-Huron is rising at a rate above the average rate for this time of year due to the very wet conditions in the basin.”

Earlier this spring, the Army Corps announced a normal spring increase in Great Lakes water levels. But this week, the agency said most of the lakes are rising faster than normal for spring.

The rise could mean the end, or suspension, of expensive dredging projects in some cases. It could also mean some marinas will recapture the use of boat slips that were becoming too shallow.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre


Port Report



Many classic vessels called in at the various docks and silos along Detroit's Rouge River this past week, allowing area Boatnerds to see some of their favorites.  Joseph H. Frantz, built in 1925, came in the night of May 17 with a load of Stone for the Ajax Rock Dock.

The next day, Kaye E. Barker made one of her typical ore trips to the Rouge Steel mill with taconite. On the 19th, CSL's Frontenac took a cargo of Canadian ore to Rouge Steel. On the 21st, the 1943-built Richard Reiss unloaded a cargo of stone at the Jefferson Marine Terminal, the first time in many years that this vessel has called on a Rouge River port. 

Finally, on the 22nd, the classic 1949-built Wilfred Sykes called on Rouge Steel with a cargo of taconite from Marquette. Due to a strong current running in the Rouge River, the Sykes was towed out stern first around noon on the 22nd by Gaelic’s tug Carolyn Hoey, with a gathering of Boatnerds following them by car from the Dix Street bridge down the river to the Jefferson Avenue bridge. A salute from Capt. Ron Brezinski on the Sykes’ massive steam horns delighted all who were on hand.

Reported by: Nathan Nietering

Sykes leaving the Rouge plant.
Tow proceeds stern first
Carolyn Hoey and Sykes cast a nice reflection in the Rouge River
Hoey works Sykes’ stern around
Stern at the Fort Street Bridge, with Gaelic yard at left
Bow view at the Jefferson Avenue Bridge

Photos by Roger LeLievre
Sykes crew on the fantail at lunchtime
Boatnerds on the Dix Street Bridge

Detroit Sunday traffic

Photos by: Mike Nicholls
Appledore V downbound at Grassy Island.
Appledore stern view
Michipictoten downbound at Grassy Island.
Michipictoten  stern view
Toro (Greece) unloading at Nicholson's.
Toro stern shot
Richard Reiss downbound off Nicholson's.
Reiss stern view
Earl W. Oglebay
Oglebay stern view


Sunday activity at Toledo.

Photos by: Mike Nicholls
Anna Desgagnes (Barbados) inbound the Maumee River bound for the TWI Dock. #03
Gradel tug John Francis at Toledo
Anna Desgagnes at TWI on the Maumee River
Container cargo unloaded from Desgagnes

Saginaw River

The coal trade was in high gear on the Saginaw River Friday with deliveries by the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr and the Joseph H. Thompson/Thompson Jr.
The McCarthy was inbound early Friday morning calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. She had completed her unload and backed from the dock outbound for the lake around 8am.  The Thompson was inbound Friday morning for the Saginaw Rock dock.  After unloading and turning at Sixth Street in Saginaw, the pair was outbound passing under the I-75 bridge early in the evening.

Reported by: Todd Shorkey


The Jacklyn M barge Integrity arrived at Lafarge on a rainy Sunday evening to load cement. It will be heading back to deliver to ports on Lake Michigan. The steamer Alpena was anchored offshore on Sunday evening, waiting on the weather. It was expected to load sometime during the night after the Integrity departed.

The Paul H. Townsend and J.A.W. Iglehart were both in port on Thursday taking on cargo. The Townsend went to Green Bay and will be back on Monday morning. The Iglehart went to the lower lakes stopping at Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland.

The Fred R. White Jr was loading at Stoneport on Sunday, followed by the Pathfinder. The David Z. Norton is on the schedule for Monday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Today in Great Lakes History - May 24


In 1980 the M/V BURNS HARBOR was christened for the Wilmington Trust Co., (Bethlehem Steel Co., Mgr.) Wilmington, DE.

The CANADIAN OLYMPIC (Hull#60) was launched in 1976 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.

CHICAGO TRADER arrived at Ashtabula, Ohio on May 24, 1977 for scrapping (scrapping did not begin until May 1, 1978 by Triad Salvage Inc.)

The CLIFFS VICTORY set a record (by 2 minutes) for the fastest time from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to Duluth, Minnesota in 1953. She logged a time of 17 hours and 50 minutes. The CHARLES M WHITE had been declared the fastest earlier that year by the Cleveland papers.

ALEXANDER B MOORE was launched at Bangor, Michigan on 24 May 1873. She was built by Theophilus Boston at a cost of $85,000. She was 247 foot overall, 223 foot keel and could carry 70,000 bushels of grain. Although designed as a 4-mast schooner, she was built as a 3-master. The fourth mast was added two years later.

On 24 May 1875, the schooner NINA was bound from Michael's Bay to Goderich, Ontario, when she sprang a leak and went down in mid-lake. Her crew escaped in the yawl, but were adrift on Lake Huron for two days and two nights with only one loaf of bread to divide among themselves.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 23


UNIQUE (wooden propeller passenger steamer, 163 foot, 381 gross tons, built in 1894 at Marine City, Michigan) was sold to Philadelphia parties for service on the Delaware River.  She left Ogdensburg, New York on 23 May 1901 for Philadelphia.  Her name was changed to DIAMOND STATE.  In 1904, she was rebuilt as a yacht and lasted until 1915 when she burned in New York harbor.

The WILLIAM J DE LANCEY was re-christened on May 23,1990 as b) PAUL R TREGURTHA. She is the largest ship on the Great Lakes and also the last Great Lakes ship built at American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio.

H LEE WHITE completed sea trials on May 23, 1974

The FRED R WHITE Jr. completed her two day sea trials in 1979.

The steel freighter SONOMA (Hull#610) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. on 23 May 1903. She was 416 feet long, 4539 gross tons. Through her career she had various names: DAVID S TROXEL in 1924, SONOMA in1927 and finally FRED L HEWITT in 1950. She was built for the Tomlinson fleet. She was converted to an automobile carrier in 1928, converted back to a bulk carrier in 1942 and then converted to a barge for grain storage in 1955. She was finally scrapped in 1962 at Steel Co. of Canada Ltd. at Hamilton, Ontario. 

On 23 May 1889, the wooden steam barge OSCAR T FLINT (218 foot, 824 gross tons) was launched at the Simon Langell & Sons yard in St. Clair, Michigan. She lasted until 25 November 1909, when she burned and sank off Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Former CSL Vessel Saguenay Leaves Thunder Bay on Scrap Tow

UPDATE: 7 p.m. Saturday. The Saguenay tow arrived at the Algoma Export Dock this afternoon, assisted by the tug Missouri. The vessels are expected to stay there overnight and resume their passage early Sunday morning


Late Thursday night the one way scrap tow of the M.A.C. Gagne left the port of Thunder Bay, Ont. M.A.C. Gagne was the former Saguenay of the Canada Steamship Lines.  Built in 1964 as a bulk carrier, she was boomed at Thunder Bay in the winter of 1971-72.  She eventually retired and laid up in Toronto, ON, Nov. 30, 1992.  In 1997 she was purchased by Pierre Gagne Contracting Ltd. and towed from Toronto on Sept 28, 1997. She was tied up at the old ore dock beside Northern Woods Saw Mill for use in the creosote blob cleanup effort. From there she was moved to Pascol's dry dock where rudder, prop, boom and engine were removed. Later moved up the Kam River to Gagne's dock, she sat there slowly being cannibalized for parts. Her pilothouse was removed and rumors of her becoming a barge never materialized. Finally, with the price of steel sky rocketing, a deal was made to sell her for scrap. She will be towed to Montreal where it is said that her final leg of the journey to the scrapyard will begin.

The deep sea tug Simoon is expected in Montreal May 24,and according to a port spokesman, will be used to tow the vessel to Bangladesh.

Photos by Rob Farrow
Final shot at Gagne's dock on the Kam River
M.A.C. Gagne name above barely visible Saguenay name
Doug McKeil tied up at the stern of M.A.C. Gagne
Another view of Doug McKeil and M.A.C. Gagne
Tow on Mission River just after leaving the Gagne dock
Tow passing in the darkness
Reported by: Rob Farrow, Rene Beauchamp, Jerry Masson


Today in Great Lakes History - May 22


On 22 May 1901, FRANK H PEAVEY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 430 foot, 5002 gross tons) was launched at the American Ship Building Company (Hull #309) in Lorain, Ohio for the Peavey Syndicate.  She lasted until 1934 when she struck the south pier while entering Sheboygan, Wisconsin and was declared a constructive total loss and scrapped the following year.

The A.H. FERBERT (2) (Hull#289) was launched this day in 1942 at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.  May 22nd was the tenth National Maritime Day and on that day 21 other ships were launched nationwide to celebrate the occasion. The "super" IRVING S OLDS was launched the same day at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co.. This marked the last of the "Super Carrier" build program. The others were the BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS, LEON FRASER and ENDERS M VOORHEES.

The SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY sailed under her own power down the Seaway on May 22, 1969 for the last time and arrived at Quebec City.

BAYFAIR was launched as the a) COALHAVEN  (Hull#134) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, U.K. by Furness Shipbuilding 1928.

While bound for Escanaba, MI to load ore, the JOSEPH BLOCK grounded at Porte des Morts Passage, on Green Bay, May 22, 1968 and was released the same day by the Roen tug ARROW. The BLOCK's hull damage extended to 100 bottom plates. Surrendered to the under-writers and sold in June that year to Lake Shipping Inc.

The 143 foot wooden brig JOSEPH was launched at Bay City, Michigan on 21 May 1867. She was built for Alexander Tromley & Company.

CITY OF NEW BALTIMORE was launched at David Lester's yard in Marine City, Michigan on 22 May 1875. Her master carpenter was John J. Hill. She was a wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel built for the Detroit-New Baltimore route. Her dimensions were 96' keel, 101' overall x 20' x 6'6", 130 tons. Her boiler was made by J. & T. McGregor of Detroit. Her engine was built by Morton Hamblin & Company of St. Clair, Michigan. She was rebuilt as a tug in 1910 and lasted until abandoned in 1916.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


On Board the Federal Kivalina


Following are photos of a recent afternoon spent aboard the saltwater vessel Federal Kivalina as the vessel passed downbound from Port Huron to Detroit. Thanks to the vessel's officers and crew, and river pilot George Haynes, for making the trip possible.

The Federal Kivalina was built at Oshimo Ship Building Co., Nagasaki, Japan in 2000. She was bound for Antwerp with grain loaded at Thunder Bay. Flying the flag of India, her crew of 22 keeps their 656 long by 77 foot wide vessel spotless inside and out. She is owned by Federal Oceans Inc. of Hong Kong (Fednav) and managed by Anglo Eastern Ship Management.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Pilot boat Huron Lady, which is based at Port Huron, approaches Federal Kivalina, anchored just north of the Blue Water Bridge.
Federal  Kilvalina in the anchorage, close up. You can see the pilot ladder hanging over the side just in front of the accommodations block.
Looking forward through the Kleer-View screen
Approaching the Blue Water Bridge
Passing under the Blue Water Bridge. Port Huron is at right.
Another view, directly under bridge
View aft, showing stack.
Cadet Amit Jasrotiaand Chief Officer Karl Fernandes
Third Officer Gautam Malhotra
Cadet Amit Jasrotiaand Chief Officer Karl Fernandes with Helmsman Janak Raj
Helmsman on the bridge
Pilot George Haynes calls in a position report to Sarnia Traffic. Note the rudder and engine status indicator above his head.
View from the bridge wing into the pilothouse. Notice the repeaters above the door that give rudder and engine status.
Maumee awaits her fate at Sarnia’s North Slip. The 75-year-old vessel has probably sailed her last.
Passing Sarnia’s petro-chemical plants
Great Lakes Trader departing Blue Water Aggregates
Trader, stern view, with the  Marysville power plant in the background
Going by the Agawa Canyon, which is waiting to make the dock at Blue Water Aggregates
Agawa Canyon
Agawa Canyon, stern view
Roger Blough upbound
Blough’s bow, framed by bridge wing
Tug Doug McKeil and Ocean Hauler
William J. Moore pushes McLeary’s Spirit
Office at the back of the pilothouse
Engine room control panel
Engine, made by Kawasaki
Propellor shaft and reduction gear
Hydraulic steering engine
Engineering officers Ramesh Kolli and John A. Fernandes
A storm crosses over Lake St. Clair
Stormy view looking over the deck.
USCG Hollyhock works bouys just above the Detroit River
Federal Kivalina approaching the Ambassador Bridge at night
Detroit skyline
Detroit, another view
Federal Kivalina’s superstructure at night. The lights are on for a pilot change.
Pilot boat Huron Maid alongside Federal Kivalina, with Detroit skyline in the background


MacArthur Lock to Close June 14 for Inspection


The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie will be closed at 6 a.m. on June 14 and could remain out of service until June 23. The notice said the lock will be de-watered for a required structural inspection, according to a story in Thursday’s Sault Evening News.

Area Engineer Stan Jacek said the June shutdown was scheduled after Great Lakes shipping interests requested a season extension late last fall and the locks remained open through Jan. 25. He said the routine five-year inspection was deferred from last winter until this spring.

He said the lock will probably be returned to full, 24-hour service before the full nine-day shutdown unless the inspection reveals the need for immediate repairs.

While the MacArthur Lock is closed, the Poe Lock and adjacent Davis Lock will be open to relieve the traffic pressure on the Poe. The Davis can accommodate a number of smaller cargo vessels operating at unloaded draft as well as tugs and tour .

Jacek said the Davis and Sabin Locks will both undergo a similar inspection in July.

Reported by: Sault Evening News



Minnesota Eases Environmental Review for Proposed Nugget Plant


Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Thursday signed a law that eases the environmental permit process needed to build a proposed iron nugget plant.

State lawmakers hope that streamlining the permit process will encourage Mesabi Nugget LLC to build a commercial iron nugget plant at the former LTV Steel Mining Co. taconite plant in Hoyt Lakes. The law applies only to an iron nugget plant at this site.

The law came about quickly this spring after Mesabi Nugget LLC announced that it would build its first commercial iron nugget plant in Indiana because the environmental permit process there would take only a few months compared to two years in Minnesota. That struck a nerve among Minnesota lawmakers because the technology for the iron nugget plant was developed by Mesabi Nugget at a pilot plant in Silver Bay, Minn. Some of the money for the pilot plant was provided by Minnesota with the understanding that it could lead to a commercial plant in Minnesota.         

Reported by: Al Miller



Cliffs to Provide Pellets to ISG's Weirton Mill


Cleveland-Cliffs has signed a 15-year contract with International Steel Group to provide taconite pellets to the former Weirton Steel  facilities that ISG purchased Tuesday.

Under the contract, Cliffs will supply most of the pellets required at the West Virginia steel mill this year and in 2005. After 2005, Cliffs will supply all the facility's pellets.

ISG on Tuesday finalized a $253 million acquisition of Weirton Steel assets. Weirton, which in 1909 opened in Weirton, W. Va., and grew to become the nation's fifth-largest integrated steel producer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 19, 2003.

Reported by: Al Miller


Port Report



Travel in and out of Marquette appears to be picking up a bit. The Wilfred Sykes was at the upper harbor ore dock loading ore Thursday. The Reserve is due in this morning and no vessels are scheduled for Saturday. The Charles M. Beeghly is due in on Sunday at the upper harbor while the Herbert C. Jackson will make a visit to the lower harbor to deliver coal. On Monday, the Jackson will move up to the upper harbor for a load of ore. Also visiting on Monday will be the Saginaw. Finally, the Paul R. Tregurtha is due in late next Wednesday 

Reported by: Art Pickering


Today in Great Lakes History - May 21


On 21 May 1883, SAILOR BOY (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 75 foot, 76 net tons, built in 1866 at Algonac, Michigan) was carrying wood from Pierport, Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She anchored outside Milwaukee harbor waiting for a gale to abate but she broke her anchor chains and was driven aground.  Her crew of three made it to shore on a line with help from bystanders on the beach.

The AMERICAN REPUBLIC’s maiden voyage was on May 21, 1981 from Sturgeon Bay light to Escanaba, Michigan to load ore pellets for Cleveland, Ohio.

HENRY G DALTON's maiden voyage was on May 21, 1916.

UNITED STATES GYPSUM (2) in tow of the German tug FAIRPLAY X was lost in heavy weather on May 21, 1973 near Syndey, Nova Scotia.

The G A TOMLINSON (2) stranded near Buffalo, New York on Lake Erie  on May 21, 1974 suffering an estimated $150,000 in damage.

The 143' wooden brig JOSEPH was launched at Bay City, Michigan on by Alexander Tromley & Company. She was built by the owner.

On 21 May 1864, the NILE (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 190 foot, 650 tons, built in 1852 at Ohio City, Ohio) was sitting at her dock in Detroit, Michigan with passengers, household goods, and horses and wagons aboard when her boiler exploded, destroying the ship and killing eight of the crew. Large pieces of her boiler flew as far as 300 feet while other pieces damaged houses across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. A large timber was thrown through the brick wall of a nearby shoe store, striking the cobbler in the back of the head and killing him. At least 13 other crew members and passengers were injured. The wreck was moved to the foot of Clark Street in Detroit in July 1864, where it remained until it was finally dynamited in August 1882.

May 21, 1923 -- The ANN ARBOR NO 4 was refloated after sinking at Frankfort, Michigan the previous February.

After spending three weeks in quarantine at Buffalo, New York, because of the discovery of smallpox on board, the steamer JOHN OADES has been released and has started on her way to Duluth.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Report


Saginaw River

The Alpena was inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday morning calling on the LaFarge dock in Carrollton to unload.  She sat at the dock until Tuesday morning due to abnormally strong currents in the Saginaw River due to heavy rains in the area over the past week. Finally, when the tug Barbara Andrie came upriver and assisted, she was able to finally turn and depart for the lake.
The Canadian Transfer departed the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee Saturday evening and attempted to turn at the Sixth Street basin, but could not do so and tied up for the night at the Saginaw Rock Products dock to wait until morning to try again.  On Tuesday morning after attempts on Sunday and Monday as well, the Canadian Transfer finally made it out of the Saginaw River as the tug Barbara Andrie left her barge at Bit-Mat and came upriver light tug to assist in turning her at the Sixth Street Basin.
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were unsuccessful in turning anywhere on the Saginaw River, so the pair backed all the way down the river Saturday night, finally turning at the Consumers Energy dock at the mouth of the river.  They had a close call coming through Bay City as the Central Michigan Railway bridge was closed causing the McKee Sons to try and stop with the strong currents pushing them.  Once the bridge opened, they were at a bad angle and just squeezed through without any contact to either bridge.
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound Monday morning, stopping at the Wirt dock in Bay City to lighter.  The pair then continued upriver to the Wirt dock in Saginaw to finish unloading.  Due to the problematic currents still in the river the VanEnkevort and Trader backed all the way down the river the same as the McKee Sons had did on Saturday.
The Adam E. Cornelius was inbound on Monday as well, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload.  Currents caused problems for the Cornelius to make the turn into the slip.  She was unsuccessful at backing into the slip, but managed to get in bow first. After unloading, the Cornelius backed from the slip and as has become the trend, backed stern first out into the Saginaw Bay to turn around.
The tug Barbara Andrie was the final inbound on Monday.  The Andrie and her tank barge tied up at the Consumers Energy dock to wait for the Adam E. Cornelius to clear the Bay Aggregates Slip before continuing upriver to the Bit-Mat dock to unload.  The dock is located and the end of the Bay Aggregates slip.  As noted above she also assisted in turning the Alpena and Canadian Transfer on Tuesday before departing with her barge.
The Joseph H. Frantz was inbound Wednesday morning calling on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload.  She was outbound early in the evening
The CSL Tadoussac was also inbound with a load of clinker for the Essroc Terminal in Essexville.  She arrived just before the Frantz departed Bay Aggregates.  
McKee Sons backing through Liberty Bridge. (Note distance on starboard side)
Another view clear of Liberty
Bow view at Wheeler's Landing
Adam E. Cornelius inbound passing Bay Harbor Marina
Stern view at Essroc
Joyce L. Van Enkevort - Great Lakes Trader backing outbound through Veterans Bridge
Joseph H. Frantz upbound at Consumers Energy

Reported by: Todd Shorkey


Calumet in the Black Rock Lock near Buffalo recently
Leaving the lock
Stern view

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Twin Ports

Tug Mount McKay
Tugs Callie M and Miss Laura
Balticland from above
Balticland - another view
Federal Agno
James R. Barker loading ore at DMIR
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. loading coal at SMET
Duluth Harbor Light
Oglebay Norton approaching port
Oglebay Norton stern view, heading under lift bridge
Backing under high (Blatnik) bridge
Oglebay Norton on a calm evening
Research ship Kiyi entering Duluth harbor - stern view
Kiyi, bow view
Mesabi Miner loading at Two Harbors
Tug Edna G, a museum at Two Harbors
St. Clair loading coal hat SMET

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Detroit River

USCG Hollyhock (WLB 214) approaching the Group Detroit Dock on May 9 to pick up buoys.
USCG Sequoia (WLB 215) downbound at Grassy Island on May 18 on her way to Cleveland.
Sequoia, stern view

Reported by: Mike Nichols


Expected in Montreal late on June 23rd will be the deepsea tug Simoon. It is likely she is coming here to take Algosound to tow her overseas for breaking up. It is not known yet if she will take also the Algocatalyst laid up at Sorel-Tracy.

Federal Leda which has an ETA at Contrecoeur on May 23, has Côte Ste. Catherine as her subsequent port of call.

Last week, the new container service from Montreal to Europe began with the visit of Atlantic Lady. Second vessel is Horizon today and the third one will be CMA CGM Tage next week. The new service is a joint one by Zim Line, Lloyd Triestino and CMA CGM. Early Wedensday morning, Horizon had to anchor in the emergency area near Sorel-Tracy at the west end of Lake St. Peter. She then proceeded further upstream to the Sorel-Tracy anchorage, likely for inspection. She finally got underway at 1430 hrs for section 67, Montreal. There is speculation she might be renamed ZIM Horizon while here.

Presently upbound for Windsor on her maiden trip is the Onego Merchant, delivered from a shipbuilder in the Netherlands less than a month ago. Her ETA at Windsor is May 22.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

Detroit River

Monday images by Mike Nicholls
Philip R. Clarke
Clarke, stern view
Lambert’s Spirit, bow view
Lambert’s Spirit, stern view
Tug Wilf Seymour

Owen Sound

The Southdown Challenger arrived for one of her regular visits to Owen Sound on May 18th.  She is the oldest vessel still trading on the Great Lakes, launched as the William P. Snyder in 1906.  

Unloading at the Miller Cement Elevator

Reported by: Mac Robinson, Ed. Saliwonchyk

Welland Canal

Images of Monday traffic

Photos by: Bill Bird
Cuyahoga exiting Port Colborne harbor.
English River heading towards Lock 3
Canadian Coast Guard buoy tender Gull Isle clear of Lock 7 upbound
John B Aird up at Bridge 11
Vamand Wave clear of Lock 3 upbound


ISG Acquires Bankrupt Weirton Steel


International Steel Group on Tuesday completed its acquisition of bankrupt Weirton Steel Corp., with the final price at $253 million, a company official said.

In business for just two years, ISG has catapulted to the largest in the industry by buying bankrupt steel companies, cutting costs and producing steel at competitive prices. Weirton Steel, which opened in Weirton, W.Va., in 1909, accepted ISG's offer in February. Legal challenges from creditors delayed the deal.

The company along the Ohio River across from Ohio was the nation's fifth-largest integrated steel producer and No. 2 producer of tin when it sought protection from creditors a year ago after losing money for five years. 

Richfield, Ohio-based ISG was formed in 2002 after New York buyout firm WL Ross & Co. purchased most of the LTV Steel remnants from bankrupt LTV Corp. in nearby Cleveland. It acquired the Acme Metals mini-mill in 2002 and bankrupt Bethlehem Steel last year

Reported by: Frank Frisk


End of an Era at Milwaukee


The Great lakes Towing tug Virginia pulled the Petite Forte/St. Marys Cement out of the St. Marys Cement dock on the Menomonee River Wednesday night.

When St. Marys Cement consolidates their cement operations at their Jones Island facility (formally the Badger Cement plant) early this summer it will mean the end of commercial shipping in Milwaukee's Menomonee River valley.

While the valley once contained coal yards, cement terminals and various bulk sand and salt docks it now is the site of a casino, soccer fields and the future location of the Harley Davidson museum. The city is also promoting the area for office and light industry use.

The Virginia and Petite Forte pass through the Plankington RR bridge
The tow passes the former site of the Great Lakes Towing Company. The new river walk can be seen on the right 

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Today on Great Lakes History - May 20


On 20 May 1872, the iron-clad passenger/package freight steamer MERCHANT struck a rock and sank at the mouth of the Detroit River.  No one was injured.  The wrecking tugs MAGNET and HERCULES took off the cargo of railroad iron and general merchandise, then attached two pontoons, but the vessel would not budge.  On 26 May, the steamers MACKINAW and SWEEPSTAKES joined the scene and added two more pontoons.  With all the steam pumps working, the MERCHANT still would not budge.  Two days later, two more pontoons were added and the MERCHANT finally floated free and was towed to Detroit for repairs.  She had two holes in her hull, one of which was a gash 23 feet long.

On May 20, 1909 while lying at the Lackawanna Coal Dock at Buffalo, New York, the LeGRAND S DEGRAFF was struck by the SONORA which caused $4,000 in damage to the DEGRAFF.

The STANDARD PORTLAND CEMENT sank on Lake Huron two miles above Port Huron, Michigan in a collision with the steamer AUGUST ZIESING on May 20, 1960 with no loss of life.

On May 20, 1967 during docking maneuvers in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River, the W W HOLLOWAY's KaMeWa propeller shaft sheared off and the propeller reportedly sank to the bottom.

The RENOWN (Hull#396) was launched May 20, 1912 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Standard Oil Co.  Renamed b.) BEAUMONT PARKS in 1930 and c.) MERCURY (2) in 1957.

WILLIAM A McGONAGLE (2) (Hull#154) was launched May 20, 1916 at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Renamed b.) HENRY STEINBRENNER (4) in 1986.

On 20 May 1862, BAY CITY (wooden propeller tug, 199 foot, 480 tons, built in 1852 at Trenton, Michigan) sprang a leak in a storm and sank near Port Burwell, Ontario. She then washed in to shallow water. Her crew was rescued by the tug WINSLOW. Her engine and boiler were removed in June and July of that year.

On 20 May 1875, the passenger package freight vessel GLADYS was launched at D. Lestor's yard in Marine City, Michigan for the Toledo & Saginaw Transportation Company. Her dimensions were 135' overall x 26' x 10'. She had twelve staterooms and along with ample cargo space. The pilot house was forward, 8 feet square and 11 feet high. The engines, from the old ESTABROOK and, previous to that, from DAN RHODES, were two high pressure double engines acting on one shaft with an 8 foot propeller. She also had a pony engine to feed water to the boilers and wash the decks. She was sold Canadian in 1877 and renamed NORTHERN BELLE and lasted until November 1898 when she burned on Georgian Bay.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Show Your Colors – Boatnerd Logo Stickers Now Available


Boatnerd 4” x 4” Exterior Bumper Stickers or Interior Window Static-Cling logos are now available. Identify yourself to other Boatnerds by showing your colors. These are high quality vinyl and weatherproof.

Prices are $4 U.S. or $5 Canadian. Prices include shipping, handling and all other expenses. Profits will be used to support the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping website and the annual Boatnerd Gatherings.

Order by printing out this order form and mailing with your check or money order.


Name ____________________________________________________

Mailing Address ____________________________________________

City ________________________ State or Province_______________

Postal or Zip Code__________________

Please send me:                                    Exterior

Quantity _______    Bumper Stickers at US$4 or C$5 Total $_______


Quantity _______    Window Clinger at US$4 or C$5 Total  $_______

                                                      TOTAL ENCLOSED        $________

Price includes all shipping and handling and every other expense. Incorrect funds will be returned without merchandise. Make checks and money orders payable to: David J. Wobser. Send order form with check or money order only to:

Dave Wobser
1110 South Main St.
Findlay, Ohio USA 45840-2239

Interior window clingers will not be shipped until after June 5.

Window clinger on car.  Every Boatnerd should have one.


Milwaukee Welcomes Lake Express


The fast ferry Lake Express arrived at Milwaukee's breakwall shortly after 3:30 Tuesday. On hand to greet the ferry were assorted tugs, including the G-tug Virginia, pleasure craft and government vessels. The Lake Express made a short tour of the outer harbor off downtown Milwaukee and then proceeded to the Port of Milwaukee's Heavy Lift dock.

With the new ferry dock not quite finished, the Lake Express will use the Heavy Lift dock as a base of operations for additional crew training. Trips on Lake Michigan are also planned and a trip to Muskegon is expected as well. The Lake Express will have three rotating crews working "day jobs." There are no crew quarters on board.

The pilothouse looks more like an aircraft cockpit then a conventional pilot house. The captain sits on the right, the first mate on the left. Each has a radar screen directly in front of them. The electronic chart screen sits between both radar screens. A number of computer monitors allow the officers to keep track of everything from engine performance to security throughout the vessel. Steering is done with a small "joy stick." The center console has all the controls for engine as well as the 4 water jet propulsion units. Maximum speed is automatically set based on wave height.

The passenger lounge has aircraft type seating along with various flat screen monitors for entertainment. There is also a snack bar available in the main lounge. Outside decks are on the upper level as well as the stern.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Lake Express against Milwaukee Skyline.  Note Harbor Patrol Escort
Lake Express arrives at the Milwaukee main entrance
Another picture entering the harbor
Captain’s chair in pilot house
Controls, center console
Computer screen
Passenger lounge
Milwaukee port director Kenneth J. Szallai is interviewed by TV crew
The car deck has room for 46 cars
Engineer Dave Daniels starts the G-tug Virginia's diesel
Capt. Chip Walsh helps Dave Daniels throw off one of Virginia's lines


Lightning Strikes Tall Ship Denis Sullivan


The Tall Ship Denis Sullivan, enroute to Milwaukee, Wis., from Erie, Penn., was struck by lightning Tuesday night in a storm north of Mentor, Ohio. While none of the crew was harmed, the electronic systems failed making it difficult to navigate. Fortunately, one of the mates had a hand-held GPS and managed to make it to Cleveland's North Coast Harbor.

S.S. William G. Mather Museum operations manager and live-in ship keeper, Bill McDonald, offered assistance when he discovered his new neighbor moored next

to him at the end of East Ninth Street Pier.  The Sullivan crew was appreciative of Cleveland hospitality, including hot showers and cold beverages.

The Sullivan last visited Cleveland during 2003's Tall Ships Harborfest.  The S/V Denis Sullivan is Wisconsin's Floating Classroom and Ambassador Flagship.  Some proponents of Cleveland's lakefront development suggest that Cleveland might also benefit from a similar tall ship vessel with Cleveland's North Coast Harbor as her home port.

While taking a tour of the Mather Museum Tuesday afternoon, the crew of the Sullivan said they would know within the next few hours if they have sufficient repairs to resume their journey.  With thunderstorms anticipated through the rest of the week, they do not want lightning to strike twice.

For more information on the Denis Sullivan, visit: and for the Mather visit:

Reported by: Rob Catalano


Fraser Shipyards Builds First Vessel in 40 Years


Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wis., will soon launch the tank barge Greenstone II, the first the vessel the yard has built in 40 years.
Greenstone II is a double-hulled fuel barge that will serve Isle Royale National Park. It replaces the barge Greenstone, a single-hulled barge that was condemned last year.
Workers at Fraser built the new barge in one of the yard's two drydocks. The barge will be launched when the dock is flooded.
Fraser Shipyards has focused on vessel repair and conversions during the past four decades. Before that, however, the yard's predecessors built many vessels going back to the days of the whalebacks, when the site was owned by Alexander McDougall.
Yards officials said they hope the new barge marks the yard's return to small-vessel construction. They told the local media that yard already is inquiring about other construction contracts.

Reported by: Al Miller


Port Report


Twin Ports

In a nifty bit of scheduling, Middletown was all over western Lake Superior on the weekend of May 15-16. The vessel arrived in Duluth to unload stone at the Seaway 3 dock. On May 16 it loaded at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal for a rare trip to Ashland, Wis. It then proceeded to Silver Bay to load taconite pellets for the lower lakes.

St. Clair is expected to spend some time in May loading at one of its original ports of call. During the early '80s, the St. Clair was a regular at Midwest Energy Terminal along with fleetmate Belle River (now Walter J. McCarthy Jr.). In recent years, however, St. Clair has made only occasional calls to the Twin Ports and SMET. But on May 18, St. Clair loaded at SMET with coal for Nanticoke, Ontario. It's due back May 25 and June 1 to load for the same destination.

After a quick start, saltie traffic has been slow in the Twin Ports. The decline is attributed to high freight rates caused by demand for vessels to haul goods elsewhere, particularly between China and the United States. With vessels in short supply, the price of carrying grain from Duluth-Superior has gone up, making it a less attractive route. Most Twin Ports elevators have handled only a few vessels so far this season, with CHS again leading the way. Traffic perked up a bit the week of May 10, with three salties in port. On May 17, the only salties in port were Balticland loading grain at CHS and Federal Agno, loading bentonite at Hallet 6. The only other vessels scheduled this week are Federal Weser to load grain at Cargill B1, Daviken to load chrome ore at Hallet 6, and Olympic Merit to arrive with steel coils and then load grain outbound.


The Alpena and the Canadian Transfer were able to finally depart the Saginaw River on Tuesday morning after being delayed several days by strong currents.

Both vessels had arrived on Saturday. The Alpena delivered cement to the LaFarge terminal in Saginaw and the Transfer had called with a split load for the Northstar dock in Essexville and the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.

After unloading, the Canadian Transfer had made several attempts to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw. But the vessel was forced each time to back out and tie up at Saginaw Rock Products to wait.

Both vessels were finally assisted early Tuesday morning by the tug Barbara Andrie. The Andrie had arrived late Monday at the Bit-Mat dock near Bay City. After leaving its barge at the dock, the tug traveled light up the river to Saginaw during the night.

Several other vessels were affected by the current, which was caused by repeated rain storms over the 6,000-square-mile Saginaw River basin.

On Friday evening, the steamer Saginaw required the assistance of the tug Invincible in the Sixth Street turning basin. On Saturday afternoon, the Invincible, with its barge McKee Sons, backed out of the river from Saginaw after being unable to turn at Sixth Street.

The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort with barge Great Lakes Trader backed down the river from the Saginaw Wirt dock on Monday afternoon, and the Adam E. Cornelius was compelled to back out late Monday evening from Bay Aggregates near Bay City.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


A Canadian tanker will go up the Seaway for the first time in a few days. Tuvaq, built in 1977 as the Finnish-flag Tiira, is owned by Coastal Shipping of Goose Bay, Labrador. Presently at Quebec City, her next destination is Sarnia.

A regular visitor to the Seaway , the Anna Desgagnes will transit the Welland Canal for the first time later this month. She is going to Toledo from Uddevalla, Sweden. So far, she went only to Côte Ste.Catherine, transiting only two locks from Montreal.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


The saltie Ostkap left the grain terminals this weekend.  The Canadian Olympic was in on Sunday, loading at the salt mine.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


Today in Great Lakes History - May 19


On 19 May 1894, LORETTA (wooden propeller freighter, 140’, 395 gt, built in 1892 at Sebewaing, MI as a schooner) was driven ashore near the mouth of the AuSable River at Oscoda, Michigan in a terrible gale.  She was heavily damaged but the crew was rescued.  She was salvaged and put back in service but only lasted for two more years when she burned.

SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY (Hull#164) was launched May 19, 1906 at Wyandotte, Michigan by Detroit Ship Building Co.

On May 19, 1973 the METEOR (2) was moved from the Pipeline Tankers dock to a permanent berth on Barkers Island at Superior to serve as a museum ship.

B.F. JONES (2) and EDWARD S. KENDRICK towed by the Polish tug KORAL and arrived for scrapping at Castellon, Spain, near Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea, on May 19, 1973, a trip of over 4,000 miles.

The LAKE WINNIPEG in tow of the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived in Sacavém, North of Lisbon, Portugal on May 19, 1985. She was the largest Canadian laker and the first Seaway sized ship, as of that date, to be scrapped.

On 19 May 1835, PARROTT (wooden 2-mast schooner, 43', 20 t, built in 1834 at Ashtabula, OH) sailed for Detroit carrying iron, glass, whiskey, and hogs on deck. She never made it. The following day, west of Ashtabula, many of the hogs swam ashore and later a lot of gear from the boat drifted to the beach. No storm is mentioned and all six onboard lost their lives. She had been enrolled to a new owner the day before she set sail.

On 19 May 1876, the Port Huron Times reported that Capt. Alexander McDougall, formerly master of the steamer JAPAN, had built a large steam fish boat named SASKIWIT at Buffalo during the winter and was then sailing from there to Marquette, Michigan.

 Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Historic City of Milwaukee Ferry Move Planned Today


The much-anticipated move of the National Historic Landmark steamship City of Milwaukee is planned for today, weather permitting. The U.S. Coast Guard has issued permits for the voyage, which will commence as soon the winds have died down.

The S.S. City of Milwaukee will take about two hours to go from dock to dock in tow of tugs Chris E. Luedtke and Erich R. Luedtke of Frankfort, Mich. The 350-foot, 74-year-old steamship will be moved from its Ninth Street, Manistee location to its new dock site at the Moonlite Motel and Marina on Manistee Lake directly along U.S. Highway 31 in Manistee.

The ship will be the central focus of a new maritime heritage development, which will be the largest of it’s kind in the state of Michigan. The 350-foot historic passenger and railroad car ferry will soon offer 35 overnight rooms, rental facilities, and boxcars for a theater, museum and exhibits. On shore there is a 25-unit motel, 56-slip marina, RV campground, beach and picnic grounds along with plans for historic rail cars and rail car loading apron. It is expected that work will be finalized within the next two years.  Purchase of the site and a portion of development costs are being funded with a $1.3 million U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Loan.

The development will be a boon to the region’s tourism economy. Preservationists are applauding the work as a demonstration of how historic preservation can provide both cultural and economic benefits. Heritage tourism is now a top ranked global market; the National Historic Landmark ship is anticipated  to draw 30,000 visitors the first year and upwards of 90,000 when fully developed.

The S.S. City of Milwaukee is the last traditional Great Lakes railroad car ferry remaining. The vessel was built in 1930 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Manitowoc, Wis. It entered service in January of 1931 for the Grand Trunk Railroad. The City of Milwaukee sailed from the Michigan ports of Grand Haven, Muskegon and Frankfort, to the Wisconsin ports of Milwaukee, Manitowoc and Kewaunee.

Reported by: Richard Taber


Fednav News


Federal Bergen, owned by Malaysia International Shipping Corp. of Selanger, Singapore, was sold to Precious Shipping of Bangkok, Thailand and was renamed Manora Naree. The renaming took place at Toronto.

Two more Handy-sized bulk carriers have been ordered from New Century Shipyard in PRC.  These are proposed to the named Federal Mattawa and Federal Miranichi, for delivery in 2005.

Federal Seto is due to arrive in Montreal on May 19 on the way in to Great Lakes ports.  This is a new vessel on her maiden trip.

Yucatan is above Detroit bound for Burns Harbor

Fednav has chartered the Atlantic Patroller, Atlantic Pendent, Atlantic Pilot and Atlantic Pride. These are new, 12,993 GT vessels built since 2000. They have various owners and managed Athena Shipping.  There may be other vessels but they have not shown up as yet.

Fednav has also also chartered the Giant, which was built as Oak Star and was subsequently renamed Souren Toubro and Millenium Falcon. Indochina Shipmanagement (HK) Ltd. of Hong Kong is the manager. This company has several formerly Fednav chartered vessels.

Reported by: Al Jackman


S.S. Badger Shoreline Cruise Planned


The 410’ S.S. Badger will celebrate 2004 with a shoreline cruise party on Saturday, May 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. along Manitowoc’s coastline.

Passengers can dance the afternoon away, listening to the beat of “Out*A*Time”, a six- piece high-energy rock and roll show.  Featuring male and female lead vocals, four horn players and a rhythm section.  The band covers music from the 50s to today, with costume changes, audience participation and a great stage presence. 

Tickets are $29 and include all-you-can-eat Badger Party Buffet with bountiful shrimp bowl.

Space is limited, Call 1-800-841-4243 for reservations.

Reported by: Lake Michigan Carferry, Dave Wobser


Today in Great Lakes History - May 18


On 18 May 1872, the 3-mast wooden schooner MARQUETTE was holed in northern Lake Huron by a floating log.  The crew manned the hand-operated bilge pumps but could not keep up with the incoming water.  The steamer ANNIE YOUNG took the MARQUETTE in tow even though she was sinking and headed for Cheboygan, Michigan.  During the tow, the schooner stopped sinking and arrived in port no lower in the water than she had been earlier.  An investigation revealed that a large fish got caught in the hole and plugged it!

The WILLIAM C ATWATER departed Sandusky, OH May 18, 1925 on her maiden voyage loaded with coal bound for Duluth, MN. She was the first freighter on the Great Lakes equipped with a gyro compass.

The JOHNSTOWN (2) cleared Erie May 18, 1985 for Quebec City under tow bound for Spain for scrapping. This vessel was the first post-war built U.S. laker to be scrapped.

On May 18, 1903 the MAUNALOA hit and sank the 69 foot wooden tug EDWARD GILLEN at Superior, WI

May 18, 1992 -- The BADGER made her maiden voyage for the newly formed Lake Michigan Carferry Service.

On 18 May 1853, CITIZEN (wooden schooner, 54 t, built in 1847 at Manitowoc) was driven aground 6 miles north of Chicago. The U. S. Navy steamer MICHIGAN tried in vain to pull her off, breaking a 14" hawser in the process. She was reportedly the first vessel built at Manitowoc, WI.

On 18 May 1882, AMERICAN EAGLE (wooden propeller, passenger packet & tug, 105', 161 gt, built in 1880 at Sandusky, OH) was racing off Kelley's Island on Lake Erie when her boiler exploded. Six lives were lost. She was later raised and repaired and lasted until 1908.

18 May 1894: A big storm swept the Lakes on 18 May 1894. The next day, the Port Huron Times gave the following account of the ship wrecks in that storm: "The big storm on Lake Michigan has cost the lives of many men. Only 2 men were saved from the schooner M. J. CUMMINGS, 6 lost. The C. C. BARNES is ashore at Milwaukee but the crew were saved. The schooner MYRTLE was wrecked just outside the government pier within a half mile of Michigan Blvd. in Chicago with 6 lost. The schooner LINCOLN DALL went to pieces at Glencoe, 8 miles north of Chicago. She was 196 tons. The schooner JACK THOMPSON, 199 tons, wrecked off 25th Street. The schooner EVENING STAR, 203 tons, wrecked off 27th Street but her crew was saved. The schooner MERCURY of Grand Haven, 278 tons, wrecked off 27th Street and her crew rescued. The schooner J. LOOMIS McLAREN, 272 tons, wrecked off 27th Street. The schooner RAINBOW of Milwaukee, 243 tons, wrecked off 100th Street; the crew was rescued. The schooner C. J. MIXER, 279 tons, wrecked off 100th Street; crew rescued. The schooner WM. SHUPE waterlogged and ashore at Lexington on Lake Huron. Four were drowned in an attempted rescue. The scow ST. CATHARINES is ashore at Rock Falls near Sand Beach. The crew reached shore safely but the boat will fare badly."

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Steam Tug Reiss Acquired by Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation


The vintage steam tug Reiss was recently donated to the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation by the Keewatin Maritime Museum.  The Reiss is the only "G-tug" remaining in her original configuration, complete with coal-fired boiler and original two-cylinder compound steam engine.

The Reiss was built by and for the Great Lakes Towing Company at Cleveland in 1913, and originally named the Q.A. Gillmore.  Her engine came secondhand from the wooden tug Monarch, and may date as far back as 1873.  The tug was sold in 1932 to the Reiss Steamship Company, and renamed Reiss.  She was put to work in Green Bay providing assistance to ships at the Reiss coal dock.  Under Reiss ownership she escaped the mass modernization of the Great Lakes Towing fleet in the 1950's, and remained a steamer to the end of her career.  

Upon her retirement in 1969, she made her way to the Saugatuck Marine Museum in Michigan, where she has been on display ever since, moored along side the famous Canadian Pacific passenger steamer Keewatin.

The Foundation plans on returning the tug to her Towing Company livery and original name of Q. A. Gillmore.  A full restoration to steam is also being considered.

More information, photos and history of the tug are available at

Reported by NMHF:

Tug Reiss
Another view

Reiss and Keewatin this past Saturday at their berth in Douglas, Mich. (Photo by Roger LeLievre)
Reiss, Keewatin and unnamed pusher tug (Photo by Roger LeLievre)


Lake Express Expected in Milwaukee Tuesday


The Lake Express high speed ferry is set to arrive for the first time at its home port of Milwaukee Tuesday at 3 p.m.  The ship will cruise briefly through Milwaukee harbor and then dock at the Port of Milwaukee Heavy Lift dock on the western side of Jones Island.

The vessel arrived at section M2 in Montreal at 2100 last Thursday. Their inspection was completed the same evening, and she sailed at daylight Friday for Milwaukee. 
The Lake Express is on schedule to begin service June 1st with three round trips daily. The service connects Milwaukee and Muskegon in 2.5 hours.

Adult fares will be $42.50 each way based on a round trip purchase. Seniors, age 67+ get a $3 discount on the round-trip fare.  Children ages 5-15 travel for $20 each way with a round trip purchase. Children 4 and under travel free. Automobiles are carried for $59 each way. Motorcycles are $30 each way.

More information and online reservations are available at Passengers can also make reservations on the toll free telephone line: 1-866-914-1010.

Reported by: Lake Express, Kent Malo 

Photos by Kent Malo

Lake Express at Montreal
Stern view
Captain Philip Townsend of the Lake Express


Port Huron Boatnerd Gathering, Marine Mart June 5


The City of Port Huron is celebrating “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” on Saturday, June 5. Part of the festivities will be a Marine Mart at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal (formerly known as the Bean Dock). Boatnerds are joining the fun and calling it the Port Huron Gathering.

The mart, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature dealers selling a variety of nautical items, from books and photos to life rings, flags and other memorabilia.

There will also be a special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 4 p.m. and returning at 6 p.m. Costs are Adults-$13, Seniors-$12, Child (5-12)-$7. Pay as you board with cash or check, but you must make reservations by calling 810-984-1500 or 888-873-6726.

The Huron Lady II departs from the southeast corner of Military Street and the Black River, next to the Standard Federal bank.

Huron Lady II parking is available at the bank lot on Water Street just east of the Standard Federal Bank along the river. Additional parking is available in public lots at Fourth and Pine streets, and on the north side of the river at Quay and Michigan streets, and Quay Street west of the bridge. We are trying to arrange bus transportation from the Seaway Terminal to the Huron Lady II. Watch for updates to this information.

Additional information about the Huron Lady II is available at

Reported by: Dave Wobser


Port Report



Richard Reiss delivered its third cargo of salt to Milwaukee on May 16. Arriving at noon on a sunny Sunday was a nice change of pace from the previous visits that took place at night or under less than ideal weather. A half hour  behind the Reiss was the Agawa Canyon with another load of salt.

Deckhand helps Reiss tie up
Reiss from above

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


The Lee A. Tregurtha brought a load of coal to the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette's upper harbor on Friday and took on ore. The Michipicoten continues her regular runs between Algoma Steel and Marquette.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Lee A. Tregurtha unloading coal
Michipicoten at the ore dock

Indiana Harbor

Spar Jade being unloaded by Federal Marine at Burns Harbor, West Dock, last Thursday. Cargo was coiled steel.
Stern view
Sam Laud loading at ISG Burns Harbor, north end of dock

Reported by: Bill Edwards


The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 were outbound from the Bay Aggregates dock late Sunday evening.  The pair had arrived earlier in the day to unload.
The steamer Saginaw was inbound  on her namesake river Thursday afternoon calling on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to lighter.  She proceeded upbound to the Wirt dock in Saginaw to finish.  The Saginaw's captain was concerned with the unusually strong current in the Saginaw River due to recent heavy rains and was inquiring about the tug Gregory J. Busch for help in turning for the outbound trip.  With the Busch was not available, and unable to turn on her own, the Saginaw waited at the Saginaw Rock Products dock until her fleetmate, the tug Invincible, was able to come to her assistance.  With much effort, Saginaw was finally able to get turned and was outbound for the lake passing through Bay City around 11 p.m. Friday night.
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were inbound Friday afternoon, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload.  While the Invincible went upriver light tug to assist the Saginaw, the barge McKee Sons unloaded her cargo.  The Invincible arrived back at Bay Aggregates around 10 p.m. and started to process of recoupling with McKee Sons.  The pair waited overnight at the Bay Aggregates dock and departed at daylight for the Buena Vista dock to finish unloading. McKee Sons - Invincible unable to turn with the current, backed down the river backing out through Bay City on the way to the Saginaw Bay.
The Canadian Transfer was inbound Saturday morning stopping at the North Star dock in Essexville to lighter.  She departed around 11 a.m. and continued upriver to finish unloading at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.
Saginaw unloading at Bay City Wirt
Upbound at Wheeler's Landing
Stern view going through Liberty Bridge
Tug Invincible upbound past Saginaw Veteran's Park
Stern view headed towards bad weather

Reported by: Todd Shorkey

Alpena/St. Marys River

The Alpena and the J.A.W. Iglehart were both at Lafarge the same time on Friday afternoon. The Alpena was loading at the silos first and the Iglehart tied up at the coal dock to wait for the Alpena to depart. The Iglehart headed to Whitefish, Ont. and the Alpena went to Saginaw. Both vessels are expected to be back in port on Monday.

The Paul H. Townsend returned to service over the weekend and arrived in port early Sunday morning to load its first cargo of the season to deliver back to Muskegon.

The Joseph H. Frantz loaded at Stoneport on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday the Great Lakes Trader and Joseph H. Thompson took on stone. The American Mariner and Earl W. Oglebay are on the schedule for Monday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain

Joseph H. Frantz loading at Stoneport
Another view

Photos from the Soo
Roger Blough upbound at Mission Point
Paul R. Tregurtha at the Rock Cut
Quebecois at Mission Point
Quebecois in Mac Lock
Joseph L. Block in Rock Cut
Block, stern


Today in Great Lakes History - May 17


On 17 May 1887, the WILLIAM RUDOLPH (wooden propeller "rabbit", 145’, 267 gt. built in 1880 at Mount Clemens, MI) was raised from Lake St. Clair.  She sank in the Fall of 1886.  She was towed to the Wolverine Drydock in Port Huron, Michigan where she was repaired.  She lasted until 1913 when she was beached as shore protection near Racine, Wisconsin.

BUCKEYE MONITOR was launched May 17, 1913 as a) ALTON C. DUSTIN (Hull#708) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co..

NORTHCLIFFE HALL (2) collided with the Cuban salty CARLOS MANUEL DE CESPEDES in the St. Lawrence River above the Eisenhower Lock on May 17, 1980.

The E.G. GRACE arrived at Ramey's Bend May 17, 1984 in tow of the tugs GLENEVIS and GLENSIDE for scrapping.

May 17, 1941 -- The Ludington Daily News reported that the former carferry PERE MARQUETTE 17, which had been purchased by the state department for use at the Straits of Mackinac, was to be re-named CITY OF PETOSKEY.

The schooner ST. ANDREWS was launched at A. Muir's shipyard on the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan on 17 May 1875. This was a rebuild job, but Mr. Muir stated that it was the most complete rebuild he ever undertook since there was only a portion of the keel and bottom left from the old hull. Her new dimensions were 135' keel x 30' x 14', 425 tons (an increase of 102 tons).

At about 9:00 AM, 17 May 1885, the tug E. T. CARRINGTON (wooden side-wheel tug, 76', 57 gt, built in 1876 at Bangor, MI) was towing a raft of logs from L'Anse to Baraga, Michigan when she caught fire and burned to the water's edge. The crew was rescued by the steam yacht EVA WADSWORTH. The CARRINGTON was later rebuilt and lasted until 1907.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 16


On 16 May 1894, the SHENANDOAH (wooden propeller freighter, 308’, 2251 gt) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #60) in W. Bay City, Michigan.  She lasted until 1924 when she was abandoned.

The CANADIAN PROSPECTOR passed upbound in the Welland Canal May 16, 1979 on her first trip after reconstruction with Labrador ore bound for Ashtabula, Ohio.

E.J. BLOCK was launched May 16, 1908 as the W.R. WOODFORD (Hull#626) at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co.

IRVIN L. CLYMER departed Superior on May 15, 1981 and went to Duluth, MN to load 11,154 tons of taconite ore for Lorain. On May 16, 1981, having departed Duluth in 35 mph winds and ten foot seas, the CLYMER began taking on water in her ballast tanks. She returned to Duluth, and was quickly repaired.

On May 16, 1972, in dense fog, the ROBERT HOBSON struck the Peerless Cement dock at Port Huron, MI when her bow was caught by the strong current at the mouth of the St. Clair River. Damage to the hull was estimated at to $100,000.

In 1985 PONTIAC (2) was towed down the Welland Canal by the McKeil tugs GLENEVIS, ARGUE MARTIN and STORMONT bound for Quebec City. She would later be scrapped in Spain.

The tug B. W. ALDRICH burned at Ludington, Michigan on 16 May 1874. The damage was estimated at $5,000 and she was rebuilt.

May 16, 1997 - The BADGER's planned first voyage of 1997 was delayed for one day because of a faulty boiler tube.

E. W. OGLEBAY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 375'. 3666 gt) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #114) at W. Bay City, MI on 16 May 1896. She lasted until she stranded on Shot Point, ten miles east of Marquette, MI on Lake Superior, during a heavy northeast gale and blizzard, on December 8, 1927. Shortly afterwards the hull was gutted by fire and declared a constructive total loss. The hull was removed, partially scrapped, and used as dock at Drummond Island, Mich.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Today in Great Lakes History - May 15


On 15 May, 1901, the GILCHRIST (steel propeller freighter, 356’. 3871 gt) was launched at the West Bay City Ship Building Co. (Hull # 603) in W. Bay City, Michigan for the Gilchrist Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio.  She lasted until 1943 when she was sunk in a collision on Lake Superior.

On May 15, 1997, the "This Day in History" feature started on this web site.

The Philip R. Clarke, first of the AAA class of vessel, began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio on this date in 1952.

After extensive renovation at Fraser Shipyard, the IRVIN L. CLYMER departed Superior on May 15, 1981 and went to Duluth, MN to load 11,154 tons of taconite ore for Lorain.

On May 15, 1971 STONEFAX was sold for scrap.

The HOMER D. WILLIAMS collided with the Canadian steamer WHEAT KING in fog on the St. Marys River May 15, 1968 with no reported significant damage.

On 15 May 1854, GARDEN CITY (wooden passenger/package side-wheeler, 218', 657 t, built in 1853 at Buffalo) was sailing from Chicago to the Soo in a storm when she went on Martin Reef, west of Detour, MI and was wrecked. Her passengers were picked up by the steamer QUEEN CITY. On 24 May, she was stripped by a schooner and in July her anchor and chains were salvaged by the schooner MONTEATH. Later still, her machinery was recovered.

May 15, 1992 -- The S.S. BADGER was rededicated and began a new career as a non-railroad carferry.

At 3:30 AM, 15 May 1874, the tug TAWAS came along side of the schooner ZACH CHANDLER several miles off shore from Sand Beach, MI on Lake Huron. The boiler of the TAWAS exploded and she sank. Capt. Robinson, 2nd Engineer Dyson, Firemen Thomas Conners and James McIntyre, and Lookout Dennis Burrow were all on the tug and died in the explosion. The blast tore the CHANDLER's sails and rigging, and caused the death of one of her officers when he was struck on the head by a flying piece of debris. The CHANDLER drifted away in the heavy seas, but returned to pick up five survivors from the water. The TAWAS was built at Vicksburg, MI by Myron Williams in 1864. Her dimensions were 95' x 18'6" x 8'6". She carried the two old engines from the tug BLISH, which when new were 11 1/2" x 20", but having been bored out several times, were 15' x 20" at the time of the explosion. Her boiler was built by Mr. Turnbull of Corunna, Ontario.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Vacationing First Mate Lands on CNN With Tornado Videos


When Eric Treece, first mate on the Joseph L. Block, is on vacation, he's not content to spend his time in front of the TV or otherwise taking it easy. He goes where the action is, in his case, right into the path of howling tornados.

His storm chasing hobby landed him on CNN Tuesday, where he spoke with anchor Miles O'Brien about the tornados that roared through the Denver area, where Treece lives, earlier this week.

"The biggest thing you can do is learn everything you can about the animal you're hunting before you go out and seek the beast," Treece said.

"A lot of it has to do with luck and some intuition," he said, as CNN aired his storm footage on the screen. ... I have got to navigate and maintain position with the storm and also maintain a safe position with the storm too, you know, not get myself in trouble.

"I've got a weather program now that downloads real-time radar, using XM Radio. I've upgraded my phone. And I've got ham radio, I keep in contact with the National Weather Service. They've given me updates. I feed them what I see and it kind of works both way. We help each other out."

When asked about the 1996 tornado movie "Twister," Treece told O'Brien that the film innacurately depicted storm chasers as thrill seekers.

"It's a Hollywood movie. You know, they're going to make a movie to entertain millions of people. It's not that easy. Chasing tornados, if it was that easy, everybody would do it because it's an incredible rush when you get something like I got yesterday. And it is just not that easy and, you know, they glorified it and kind of made storm chasers look reckless. Most of us really aren't that renegade, so to speak. And, you know, some of the scenes in it were pretty farfetched. The cow was one that comes to mind. If you've got a cow airborne around your vehicle, you've got bigger problems than going "cow," you know?"

Reported by: Roger LeLievre, CNN

Photos by: Eric Treece
Denver twister earlier this week
Twister 2


Coast Guard Outlines St. Marys River Patrol Plans


Chief Bosun Mate Brian Kastner, who heads the U.S. Coast Guard Base Sault small boat unit at Sault Ste. Marie, outlined river patrol particulars in a recent story in the Sault Evening News. He said the frequent river patrols serve two principal purposes  – increased security and boating safety.

He said there is one way a boater can be almost certain to have no Coast Guard troubles this season on the water. By passing a pre-season safety inspection given by the Coast Guard Auxiliary early in the boating season and displaying an inspection sticker, a boater will almost certainly not be visited by a river patrol. The sticker signifies that the boat in question carries all required safety equipment plus proper state registration and identification documents.

He warned however, that boats will likely get Coast Guard attention if it is used in certain ways or appears in certain security sensitive places. Among those activities are:

- Boats without navigation lights operating at night.
- Boats running in sensitive areas like the Soo Locks or the Edison Sault, Corps of Engineers or Great Lakes Power hydro plants.
- Boats with divers aboard.
- Small craft being used to photograph possible security targets.
- Small boats operating close aboard commercial ships.
- Anyone flashing random light signals on the water at night.

"If you're doing any of these things you're going to get attention," Kastner told Jack Storey, the newspaper’s marine reporter.

He noted that the Coast Guard is well aware that the outlet of the Edison hydro plant can attract dozens of legitimate fishing boats throughout the fishing season. Regular fishermen also tend to troll the downstream approaches to the so-called "federal hydro plant" near the Locks at the height of the salmon season.


Thunder Bay Fish Tugs Launched For New Season


Last Thursday morning started out cold and windy but that didn't stop Thunder Bay's fisherman.  Eager to see their boats in the water, they arrived bright and early at the boat launch at Current River.  Once the crane arrived and set up, the action was fast and furious.  Three fish tugs slipped into the water one after the other without delay.  The crane then had to move over and reset up to reach W.J. McKay.  In less than four hours, including setup time, it was over and all four boats were floating dockside. 

Marilyn Grace in the air
In the water
Preparing for lift of Rosaline
Crane lifting Rosaline
Hovering over water
Jim Dyson with Melissa's wheel
Jim pulls sling around bow
Melissa in the air
Close to the water
Looking inside towards stern
Jim readies Melissa for move
Moving Melissa to another slip
Preparing to move crane over to W.J. McKay
Owner Bill McKay with his boat
Turning W.J. McKay around in the air
About to hit the water
In the water and being pulled dockside

Reported by: Rob Farrow


Port Report



The much publicized arrival of the new ferry Spirit of Ontario 1, aka "The Breeze,"  in Toronto on Thursday did not take place. Engine problems are reported to be the cause.

The salty Isolda arrived in port just after noon Thursday and she was berthed at the Redpath Sugar dock with the assistance of McKeil's tugs Atomic and Lac Manitoba.

A Dean Construction Co. tug and barge came in late Wednesday and departed early Thursday.

The Port Authority tug Wm. Rest remains under the atlas crane at Pier 35 undergoing repairs and inspection.

The Soderholm Marine Construction Co. tug Diver III and barge are at work on the Queen's Quay Terminal Building dock refacing project again. During the past week they have also been hauling rip rap to Gibraltar Point, which
suffered heavy erosion during the winter's storms.

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons


Today in Great Lakes History - May 14


On 14 May 1881, CITY OF ROME (wooden propeller freighter, 268’, 1908 gt) was launched by Thomas Quayle & Sons in Cleveland, Ohio.  She was the largest vessel on the Lakes when she was launched.  She lasted until 1914 when she burned near Ripley, New York on Lake Erie in 1914.

On May 14, 1959, the CHARLES M BEEGHLY and the HERBERT C. JACKSON both entered service. While the vessels have been fleet mates since 1967, the BEEGHLY got her start as the SHENANGO II for the Shenango Furnace Company.

On May 14, 1943, the THOMAS WILSON entered service as the first of the 16 vessels in the "Maritime" class.

The HOCHELAGA's self-unloading boom was installed on the RICHARD REISS, which had lost her boom April 13, 1994 when it collapsed at Fairport, OH. The REISS cleared the Port Weller Dry Docks, where her HOCHELAGA boom was installed, on May 14, 1994.

BLACK HAWK (wooden schooner, 98', 178 gt) was launched in East Saginaw, MI on 14 May 1861. Thomas A. Estes was her builder. She was active until abandoned in the Kinnickinnic River at Milwaukee in 1908. On 13 October 1913, she was filled with flammable material and burned off Milwaukee as a public spectacle for the Perry Centennial Celebration.

On May 14, 1905, the new Anchor Line passenger steamer JUNIATA made her maiden voyage from the yards of the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland to Detroit. Sailing under the command of Capt. Edward J. Martin she left Cleveland at 7:05 in the morning and arrived at Detroit shortly before 4. On board, in addition to several officials of the line was her designer, Frank E. Kirby.

Detroiters were treated to the sight of seeing both the JUNIATA and TIONESTA together for the first time as TIONESTA was loading for Duluth when the JUNIATA arrived from Cleveland and JUNIATA tied up alongside her older sister. The JUNIATA later departed for Chicago where her furnishings were installed.

On 14 May 1861, COMET (wooden side-wheeler, 174'. 337 gc, built in 1848 at Portsmouth, Ontario) collided with the 2-mast wooden schooner EXCHANGE, ten miles off Nine-Mile Point on Lake Ontario. Then an explosion rocked the COMET and she was destroyed by fire. 2 or 3 lives were lost, but the survivors reached Simcoe Island in a lifeboat.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., May 14, 1900. - The W A ROOTH of the Great Lakes Towing company fleet was caught between the barge ROEBLING and the steamer FRICK in the American canal last night and sunk.  The crew escaped without injury.  The tug was towing the barge ROEBLING out of the canal and in some manner got between the the ROEBLING and the big steamer FRICK.  Her sides were crushed in and she went down immediately in twenty feet of water.

Data from: Chuck Truscott, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Changes Coming for New CN Properties


Early but unconfirmed reports are that the offices of Great Lakes Fleet, housed for decades at the Missabe Building in downtown Duluth, will be moved to the office building at the DMIR ore docks. If that's true, it would mark the first time since the fleet's creation that it hasn't had headquarters or some sort of office in downtown Duluth, either at the old Board of Trade Building or the newer Missabe Building (formerly the Wolvin Building).

Reported by: Al Miller


Port Report



The James A. Hannah and barge arrived in port Wednesday afternoon and went down to the turning basin to unload.

The saltie Manora Napee, ex-Federal Bergen, had her new name painted on yesterday and the vessel departed around 6 p.m. with the assistance of McKeil's harbor tugs.

It is expected that the high speed ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 will arrive in port today (Thursday) on a test run to check port facilities and for some engine repair work. It is expected the ferry will remain in port for a day or two.

Reported by: Charlie GIbbons

Images from Welland Canal Tuesday May 11.

Photos by: Bill Bird
Atlantic Erie downbound past Homer Bridge and Garden City Skyway
Atlantic Pride down clear of Lock 7
J.A.W. Iglehart upbound clear of Lock 8
Montrealais upbound passing through Homer Bridge
Nanticoke downbound clear of flight locks

St. Marys River

Photos taken May 9 by Lee Rowe
Arthur M. Anderson
Canadian Progress
Charles M. Beeghly
CSL Tadoussac
Federal Kushiro
Samuel Risley and Federal Kushiro
Samuel Risely ubound at Mission Point.
Lewis G. Harriman awaits scrapper’s torch in Sault, Ont
Philip R. Clarke
Clarke, another view
Presque Isle, getting supplies from the Ojibway
A friendly wave from P.I.’s bridge
P.I. at Mission Point
Saginaw down at Mission Point
Stewart J. Cort above the locks
Quedoc scrapping progresses


Escanaba saw three ships last Saturday. The Herbert C. Jackson loaded first. Joseph L. Block brought a load of stone and then moved to the ore loader.  The Arthur M. Anderson waited in the bay for the Block to finish. Reports indicate the Escanaba dock maybe closed for repairs until about May 20.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Herbert C. Jackson and Joseph L. Block
Herbert C. Jackson
Joseph L. Block

Twin Ports

After a fast start, the Twin Ports grain trade has lagged in recent days. A notable exception occurred last weekend when the Joseph H. Frantz called here. The vessel departed late Sunday afternoon.
Also Sunday, Cason J. Callaway was unloading stone at Duluth's Reiss Inland Dock. From there it planned to call at the DMIR's Two Harbors ore dock to load for Ecorse.
Ahead of the Callaway in Two Harbors was the Mesabi Miner. It was one of several Interlake vessels carrying ore out of western Lake Superior last week. James R. Barker was due at the Duluth DMIR dock on May 11 and again on May 17, and the Charles M. Beeghly was due at DMIR in Two Harbors on May 15. Paul R. Tregurtha remains Interlake's coal king. It loaded coal at the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior on Sunday, the first of five coal trips it has scheduled for May.

Reported by: Al Miller

Photos by: Glenn Blaskiewicz
American Spirit and Algocape load at Two Harbors
Armco unloads stone at the Cutler Stone Dock in Superior last Saturday
Another view
Paul R. Tregurtha at Midwest Energy Terminal


Photo by: Mike Nichols
Medemborg upbound Detroit River, passing the Rt. Hon Paul J Martin at Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co., Ecorse, Mich.

Photo by: Roger LeLievre
J.A.W. Iglehart, seen from mailboat J.W. Westcott II last Saturday.


Photos by: Jim Gallacher
Atlantic Huron discharging grain at Halifax NS on May 2.
Atlantic Huron starboard view.
Another view.

Saginaw River

Last Thursday afternoon saw the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader outbound from the Sixth Street turning basin mid-afternoon.  The pair had unloaded a split cargo overnight at the Wirt docks in Bay City & Saginaw. Inbound  was the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge. They called on the Triple Clean dock in Essexville to unload.  She was outbound on Friday.
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were inbound last Friday afternoon calling on the Bay Aggegates dock in Bay City to unload. They were outbound later in the evening.
Saturday morning had the CSL Tadoussac inbound for the Essroc Terminal to unload clinker.  She had finished unloading by early evening and backed stern first from the dock out to Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay to turn around and head for the lake. Also inbound on Saturday was the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr.  She called on the Consumers Power dock in Essexville to unload coal.  

Reported by: Todd Shorkey

Recent photos by: Todd Shorkey 
Joyce L. Van Enkevort - Great Lakes Trader downbound through Liberty Bridge
Close up at Wheeler's Landing
Stern view
Richard Reiss downbound at Bay City Wirt
Stern view at Ashland-Marathon
Invincible - McKee Sons downbound clear of Lafayette Bridge
Stern view approaching Veteran's Memorial Bridge.


The Michipicoten is making regular, almost daily runs to Marquette to get ore for Algoma Steel at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The John J. Boland came to the Shiras dock with a load while trucks were busy hauling out the stone.

Lee A. Tregurtha will be bringing coal to the Presque Isle power plant and then taking on ore.  The Kaye Barker is expected on Sunday for ore, with the H. Lee White in next week with stone and then taking ore.

Michipicoten taking ore on Monday.
Truck being loaded with stone.  Two buckets fills a trailer.
John J. Boland arriving on Monday.

The Michipicoten also arrived in Marquette on a cold but sunny Friday afternoon last week to take on a load of ore. Cleveland Cliffs has installed new signs at the ore dock.

New sign
Michipicoten bow
Wide view at the dock

Reported by: Lee Rowe

St. Lawrence Seaway

Photos by: Frederick Frechette
Bulker UBC Boston (Cyprus) loading wheat  in St.Charles River (Bunge elevators).
UBC Boston aft view.
Camilla Desgagnes ( Canada ) undergoing repairs in Quebec Harbor-Anse-aux-Foulons terminal


To help deal with this spring's windy weather Chicago based Marine Management Towing has brought their 1932 built tug Baldy B up to Milwaukee to assist the John M. Selvick.

Built in Toledo as the G. F.  Becker, it served the J. W.  Westcott Co. as a mail boat from 1932 until 1951. After a series of owners the tug was purchased by Selvick Marine Towing in 1982. They used it for ship yard work in Sturgeon Bay and later to assist with the movement of the Lewis G. Harriman as a shuttle barge in Milwaukee.

The Baldy B is still in the Selvick family, having been purchased by John Selvick's Marine Management company for use in the Chicago area. On May 6 the Baldy B was spotted assisting the 1898 built tug John M. Selvick in Milwaukee's inner mooring basin with a series of grain barges. It was a family affair as well. John Selvick had coaxed his Dad, Curly out of retirement to pilot the Baldy B.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Baldy B.
Another view
Baldy B. and John M. Selvick


The Alpena and the J.A.W. Iglehart were both in port on last Thursday taking on cement at Lafarge. The Alpena delivered to Superior and Duluth. The Iglehart is on the lower lakes run.

The Jacklyn M / Integrity was expected in port late Sunday night to take on cargo. The Paul H. Townsend is expected to leave lay-up within the week and return to service.

The Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted brought a load of stone (from Stoneport) to Alpena last Friday morning. It tied up in the Thunder Bay River at the Alpena Oil Dock.

The John J. Boland was loading at Stoneport Sunday and the Great Lakes Trader was expected in on Monday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain
PM41 unloading
Another view
Tug Undaunted


Today in Great Lakes History - May 13


GEMINI (Hull#746) was launched at Grange, Texas by Levingston Ship Building Co. in 1978.

The JUPITER made her maiden voyage May 13, 1976 from Smith's Bluff, TX loaded with lube oil bound for Marcus Hooks, PA.

On May 13, 1913 the THOMAS F. COLE collided with the barge IRON CITY on Lake St. Clair. The barge was cut in two.

Delivered May 13, 1943, the THOMAS WILSON departed under the command of Captain Henry Borgen on her maiden voyage from Lorain light bound for Duluth, MN to load iron ore.

The green-hulled schooner EMMA C. HUTCHINSON was launched at 4:00 PM on 13 May 1873 at the E. Fitzgerald yard in Port Huron. She was the largest vessel built at that yard up to that time. She was named for the wife of Mr. J. T. Hutchinson of Cleveland. Her dimensions were 195' keel, 215' overall, 35' beam, 14' depth, 736 tons. She cost $55,000. Frank Leighton was her builder and Matthew Finn the master fitter. She was outfitted by Swan's Sons of Cleveland. Her painting was done by Ross & Doty of Port Huron.

On 13 May 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that someone had stolen the schooner ANNIE FAUGHT and that John Hoskins, the owner, was offering a reward for her recovery.

May 13, 1898   - The steamer JOHN ERICSSON, having in tow the barge ALEXANDER HOLLEY, bound down with ore, went aground while making the turn at the dark hole in little Mud Lake,  She is on a sand bottom.  Tugs and lighters have gone to release her.  When the steamer grounded the barge ran into her, damaging the latters bow and causing a large hole above the water line on the starboard side of the ERICSSON.  Both can be repaired temporarily.

On 13 May 1871, NORTHERNER (wooden barge, 220’, 1391 gt) was launched by Capt. Wescott at Marine City, Michigan.  Her master builder was John J. Hill.  She was towed to Detroit to be fitted out and there was talk of eventually converting her to a passenger steamer.  She remained a barge until 1880 when she was converted to a propeller freighter in Detroit.  She lasted until 1892 when she burned at L'anse, Michigan.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


CN Completes Great Lakes Transportation Purchase


Canadian National Railway said Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of Great Lakes Transportation and can proceed to integrate its two railways and marine operations.

The railroads are the 550-kilometre Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Co., a carrier of pelletized iron ore in Minnesota and Wisconsin; and the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Co., which carries primarily coal, iron ore and limestone between the Lake Erie port of Conneaut, Ohio, and steel mills in the Pittsburgh area.

In the $380-million (U.S.) acquisition announced last October, CN will also take over a switching railroad that performs bulk transfer operations between trains and ships at three docks at Conneaut.

CN also acquired a fleet of eight Great Lakes vessels transporting bulk commodities, principally for the United States steel industry. The ships will be operated by a third company, Keystone Great Lakes, of Pennsylvania.

The takeover required approval by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. Chief executive Hunter Harrison said the acquisition will improve traffic flows for western Canadian shippers between Winnipeg and Chicago and provide access to CN's network for iron ore mines in the Mesabi Range of Minnesota. 

Reported by: Jason Leslie


McKeil Renames Tug to Honor Longtime Employee


In honor of his recent retirement and dedicated years of service, McKeil Marine has renamed their former Moran Towing Co. tug Salvager the Wilf Seymour. Capt. Seymour has been sailing the Great Lakes for over 40 years, and retired from McKeil as the captain of the brine tanker Capt. Ralph Tucker. Capt. Seymour continues to sail for Mckeil Marine occasionally, but is enjoying his retirement in Newfoundland.

The Seymour is now paired with the barge Lambert's Spirit, the former K-Sea Transportation barge KTC 135. The barge was built in 1969 in Port Arthur, Texas, and has a cargo capacity of 18,850 tons. The Lambert's Spirit is 435 feet long, 75 feet wide and 30 feet deep.

The duo will be engaged in the Manistee to Amherstburg run carrying liquid brine. They are expected to arrive Manistee, assisted by the tug Lac Como, sometime Thursday.

Meanwhile, the tug Jerry Newberry is reported for sale. She was active for McKeil on the brine runs over the last months.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak, Charlie Gibbons, Barry Hiscocks


Tour New USCG Sequoia in Chicago


The newly built $29 million Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia is visiting Chicago’s Navy Pier through Saturday. Tours will be available Wednesday and Thursday at Navy Pier from 5-7 p.m. 

Sequoia started its maiden voyage from Marinette, Wisc., May 1, and Chicago is Sequoia's second stop on its 15,500 mile journey to her homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam.  Sequoia is commanded by Lt.Cdr. Matthew Meilstrup and is manned by a crew of eight officers and 42 enlisted personnel. 

Sequoia is the 15th Juniper Class sea-going buoy tender and the 10th "B-Class" cutter built by Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wis. Sequoia's primary mission are maintaining aids to navigation, homeland security, law enforcement, marine environmental protection and search and rescue.  Its 225-feet long with twin diesel engine propulsion, bow and stern thrusters and advanced maneuverability capabilities that make it the worlds premier buoy-tending platform.

Reported by: USCG


Canada to Oswego Truck Ferry Proposed


Come next spring, impatient truckers who need to use U.S.-Canadian border crossings to move their goods may have another route.

The Port of Hamilton is working on a deal to create a cross-lake truck ferry, linking the Ontario port near Toronto to the Port of Oswego.

"It would get trucks off the road, and there would be better air quality, less congestion, and less wear and tear on the roads," said Robert A. Matthews, manager of marketing and trade development at the Hamilton Port Authority.

Port of Hamilton officials are working with a shipping company, Seaway Marine Transport of St. Catharines, Ont., to operate the ferry line. The company would likely team up with an American shipping company, Matthews said.

The ferry service also would allow cargo-trucking companies to save on fuel, and help their drivers avoid the long lines at the Queenston-Lewiston, Buffalo-Fort Erie, and Alexandria Bay border crossings, Matthews said.

By creating another "bridge" - the Lake Ontario ferry route - both Matthews and Thomas McAuslan, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority, say it will ease congestion at the border crossings. They said it will benefit both communities and the cargo-trucking companies.

"It would put some people to work, it would create income for the port authority, and it would help improve the economy," McAuslan said. "It also would allow us to play a part in this initiative between the two nations. There's a lot of energy being put into it."

The costs of the ferries, and the number of jobs they would create, have yet to be determined, officials said.

Truckers would drop off their trailers at the ports in Hamilton and Oswego. Anywhere from 90 to 110 trailers then would be loaded onto a cargo barge, before setting off for the other port. The one-way, 165-mile trip would take about 12 hours, Matthews said. At the other end, a truck cab would hook up the trailer load and be off.

There would be one ferry traveling in each direction overnight every day of the year, Matthews said, and Oswego's snowy and windy winters would not stop business. No passengers would be allowed on the ferries, he said, because of the added expense of providing services and immigration clearances for drivers.

Reported by: Jason Leslie


 Today in Great Lakes History - May 12


The CANADIAN EXPLORER was launched May 12, 1965 as a) CABOT (Hull#649) at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd.

The THOMAS WALTERS entered service on May 12, 1911 with coal from Sandusky, OH to Duluth, MN.

The carferry GRAND HAVEN was sold to the West India Fruit & Steamship Co., Norfolk, VA on May 12, 1946 and was brought down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, LA for reconditioning before reaching Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach, FL.

On 12 May 1875, the scow-schooner SEA BIRD of Chicago was driven onto the beach a half mile south of the harbor at Holland, MI by a Northeaster. After the storm, she was high and dry on the beach.

The wooden J. S. SEAVERNS ran aground and stranded near Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior on 12 May 1884. She had been carrying passengers from Chicago to Port Arthur. She was pulled free by a tug, but then sank. She was formerly a steam barge, being built on the bottom of the side-wheel tug JOHN P. WARD in Saugatuck in 1880. The WARD dated back to 1857, had burned in 1865, was then rebuilt as a schooner, and in 1880 was finally rebuilt as the SEAVERNS.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Staten Island Ferry Launched in Marinette


The new Staten Island Ferry Sen. John J Marchi was launched at Marinette Marine on a rainy and dreary Saturday morning, May 8. Assisting with the launch were the Basic Marine tugs Erika Kobasic, Escort and Krystal and Selvick Marine Towing's William C. Selvick.

This 310-foot ferry is the second of three Staten Island Ferries to be built as part of a $120-million contract that was awarded to Manitowoc in 2001.

The launch ceremony featured Michael R. Bloomberg, mayor of New York, as the keynote speaker, with Mrs. Maria Luisa Marchi, Senator Marchi's wife and the ship's sponsor, performing the traditional christening ceremony.

Named after a New York State Senator and respected community leader, the John J. Marchi is the 25th ferryboat built to serve the Staten Island-to- Manhattan route since the ferry became a municipal service in 1905. The Staten Island Ferries run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and carry approximately 65,000 passengers daily on the 5.2 mile run between the St. George Terminal on Staten Island and the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan.

In addition to the Staten Island Ferries being built for the New York City Department of Transportation, Marinette Marine is under contract to build the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) for the U.S. Navy and a new Great Lakes icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Marchi is 310'x70' with a full load draft of 13.5' and a full load displacement of 3,200T. Service speed is 18.2 mph and she carries 4,400 passengers and 30 vehicles. She has (3) G.M. EMD ME 16G7B Main Diesel Generators for (2) in service at 2865 KW each. (4) Main Propulsion Motors at 2,500 HP each. (2) fixed pitch propellers and (2) CAT 3408C Service Generators at 370 KW each.

The next ferry, The September 11, is tentatively scheduled for launching sometime in  September and the new USCGC Mackinaw is tentatively scheduled for launching 1/29/05.

Saturday afternoon the Vlieborg arrived at a local warehouse dock with a load of pulp. By early Sunday afternoon Vlieborg had departed for Duluth. The Volmeborg was expected in port Sunday evening with another load of wood-pulp.

Photos: by Scott Best
On the ways Friday
Marchi hits the Menominee River
From shipyard side (Photo by Wendell Willke)

Vlieborg inbound Menominee River
Approaching Ogden St. Bridge
 Heading for the dock (Note the new crane on the dock near stern)

Reported by: Scott Best, Dick Lund and Wendell Willke


Hollyhock Skipper Blamed for Crash


The U.S. Coast Guard has punished the captain of the cutter Hollyhock for a collision this spring with the laker Stewart J. Cort while the new cutter was engaged in spring icebreaking March 25 in the St. Marys River. However he has not been relieved of command.

Coast Guard officials last week in Cleveland had a formal disciplinary hearing, called an admiral's mast, for Lt. Cmdr. Mike McBrady, according to a story in the Port Huron Times Herald.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jeff Hall told the newspaper that McBrady will receive a letter of admonition in his permanent record but will not be relieved of his duties or suspended.

"It has serious career implications," Hall said of the letter. "Any time he'd come up for promotion, it is in his records to be seen." Hall also said Rear Adm. Ronald Silva, commander of the Coast Guard's 9th District in Cleveland, remains confident in McBrady's ability to command the Hollyhock.

The Hollyhock sustained $26,000 in damage to the ship's upper bow. She is scheduled to go to the Coast Guard's Detroit Station the week of May 24 for repairs to the hull. Workers will remove the portion of the damaged hull and replace it with a new piece made in Wisconsin, the site of the ship's original assembly. Repairs could take up to two weeks.


Spirit of Ontario 1 Maiden Voyage Still on Hold


Canadian American Transportation Systems, operators of the new Sprit of Ontario 1 fast ferry from Rochester, N.Y. to Toronto, Ont., are busy telephoning thousands of customers to personally apologize for having to delay the launch of the ship.

The vessel had been scheduled to begin service on May 1. But the ship arrived at the Port of Rochester nearly 30 days later than expected, partly because it struck a dock last month in New York City and had to be repaired. The launch date has since been delayed indefinitely, and that's causing a public relations nightmare for the ferry company.

”I certainly think it’s a very awkward start,” Bob Barbato, an associate professor of management at Rochester Institute of Technology told the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle. “Here we are May 5 and we don’t even know when” it will launch.

CATS is calling customers who booked trips between May 15 and June 19 – specific reservations weren’t being accepted before May 15 – and offering to refund their money or reschedule their voyages.

The company also is telling them: “We’re sorry,” CATS President Howard Thomas said.

The majority of customers are asking for refunds because their trips were tied to specific events such as weddings or family gatherings, he said.

New reservations aren’t being accepted until June 19. But that’s not the expected launch date, Thomas said.

He would not say when the service will start or even provide a range of dates, but added that “the sooner we can get up and running, the better.”

The company needs time for the ship to undergo safety inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian officials; train the crew; and stock the ship with equipment, Thomas said. Also, because CATS has already delayed the launch once, company officials are nervous about releasing a new date until they are certain that nothing could derail that announcement.

Reported by: Rochester Democrat-Chronicle


Mariners’ Memorial Lighthouse Dedication May 15


Dedication of the Michigan’s newest ornamental lighthouse, at Belanger Park in River Rouge, Mich., begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. The all-day festival includes vendors from the Edmund Fitzgerald Brewing Co., Bellavino Winery, nautical artists, live entertainment and food. The Helene, J.W. Wescott II and the new U.S. Coast Guard Homeland Security boat will be on display. Speakers include John Hartig, Dale Scarce ("The Future of the Columbia"), J.W. Westcott Co.'s Capt. Sam Buchanan, and marine artist Leo Kuschel.

Video Screening

Make a quick trip up river after the lighthouse dedication to the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle for a Special Video Screening at 1 p.m. The museum will show "The Real Queen of the Lakes - A Trip on the Edward L. Ryerson" on the big screen in DeRoy Hall. This video is one in a popular series by Andy LaBorde and documents the trip both inside and out. Come early to tour the museum, watch passing ships and take advantage of the 20 percent off sale on all items in the sales booth from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Visit <>  for details and directions.


State of Michigan Training Vessel on Two-Week Cruise


The Great Lakes Maritime Academy's training ship is set to head out on a 2-week, 1,500-mile cruise through the Great Lakes.

The tour begins today and will take 20 students – or cadets – plus alumni acting as officers and academy officials to Lake Erie and Cleveland, then back through lakes Huron and Michigan to Chicago, and back home to its West Grand Traverse Bay dock.

The 224-foot State of Michigan will make stops along the way with open houses in those ports, John Tanner, superintendent of the academy, told the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

The funds for the $30,000 tour will come from the academy's $800,000 yearly budget.

The purpose of the tour is to promote Northwestern Michigan College's academy and to help staff and students learn more about the ship.

The former U.S. Navy ship was built in 1986. Architects from the federal Maritime Administration looked over the ship last week to help draw up a plan for modifications. A $3.7-million fix up is planned.

Tanner said the cost to taxpayers is worthwhile. "The better training we have, the fewer accidents there will be," he said. "Look at the Exxon Valdez. What did that cost our nation?"

The academy is important to the industry, said Mark Rohn, president of Grand River Navigation Co., a shipping firm based in Avon Lake, Ohio. "They provide the majority of our skilled officers," he said, adding that the industry also uses the academy to upgrade training and licenses.

Reported by: Great Lakes Maritime Academy


Today in Great Lakes History

Editor's Note: Here are the Day in History posts from May 1-11. Thanks to Mike Nicholls for volunteering to keep this feature updated.

Today in Great Lakes History - May 1

The EDMUND FITZGERALD collided with the Canadian steamer HOCHELAGA at the mouth of the Detroit River, May 1, 1970, suffering slight damage at hatches 18 and 19.

The STEWART J. CORT departed Erie on her maiden voyage at 0400 May 1, 1972. She was delayed by fog in western Lake Erie and then created a sensation as she passed Detroit/Windsor mid-day on May 2nd amid throngs of people lining both sides of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, whistling acknowledging salutes on her upbound maiden run.

Scrapping began on the CHICAGO TRADER at Ashtabula, Ohio on May 1, 1978.

JOHN T. HUTCHINSON (Hull#1010) was launched at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. on May 1, 1943.

The IRVING S. OLDS sustained an eight foot long crack across her spar deck and eight inches down one side in a storm on Lake Huron May 1, 1963.

LIGHTSHIP 103 (HURON) was launched at Morris Heights, New York by Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp. on May 1, 1920, for the U.S. Lighthouse Service.

SOO RIVER TRADER brought the first shipment of bulk cement to open the $18 million St. Lawrence Cement distribution dock at Duluth on May 1, 1982.

May 1, 1903 -- The ANN ARBOR NO. 1 sighted a burning vessel about 15 miles out of Sturgeon Bay Ship canal, the Str. JOHN EMERY OWEN. The crew had already been picked off after the fire started, so the ANN ARBOR NO. 1 put out the fire with her fire hoses. The NO.1 then towed the abandoned steamer to Sturgeon Bay and tied her up at the west end of the canal.

On 1 May 1875, CONSUELLO (wooden schooner, 103', 142 Gt., built in 1851 at Cleveland) left Cleveland with a load of black stone for Toledo. Near Kelly's Island, a storm caused the cargo to shift and the ship capsized and sank. When she hit bottom, she jerked upright so the tops of her masts were above the water. Two of the crew, Fred Donahue and James King, were able to cling to the masts and they were rescued after about an hour and a half. Five others, including the captain and his wife, were drowned.

On 1 May 1876, the little steamer W. D. MORTON, which for two years had run as a ferry between Port Huron's Black River and Sarnia, left her dock for the Delaware River where she ran on a centennial excursion route for the exposition held in Philadelphia, PA. She left the Lakes via the Erie Canal.

On 01 May 1858, OGONTZ (wooden propeller steamer, 343 t, built in 1848 at Ohio City, OH) was purchased by Capt. A. E. Goodrich and George C. Drew for $5,600.  This was the second vessel in the Goodrich Line.  Just two years later, Capt. Goodrich had her machinery removed and she was sold to W. Crostin for $500.  He converted her to a sailing vessel and she operated for two more years before she foundered in a storm.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 02

The Stewart J. Cort created a sensation as she passed Detroit/Windsor on mid-day on May 2, 1972 amid throngs of people lining both sides of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, whistling acknowledging salutes on her upbound maiden run.

ADAM E. CORNELIUS (1) (Hull#53) was launched at St. Clair, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works, May 2, 1908.

On 2 May 1874, the steamer 8TH OHIO was chartered by Magner & Company to carry their circus to various Great Lake ports throughout that season.

The 3-mast schooner EDWARD KELLEY was launched at Dunford & Leighton's yard in Port Huron on 2 May 1874. She was built for the Lake Superior Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. A. O. Miller's coronet band played at the launching.

On 02 May 1903, ACADIA (wooden schooner-barge, 102’, 188 t, built in 1873 at Smith’s Falls, Ontario) was carrying coal from Oswego, New York to Kingston, Ontario when she went aground in a storm near the Duck Islands on Lake Ontario.  She was later recovered, but foundered again in July 1908.  Again she was recovered and this time rebuilt as a barge.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 03

On May 3, 1959, the first large saltwater vessel to transit the new St. Lawrence Seaway arrived at Duluth. The RAMON DE LARINAGA took the honors as the first saltiy, passing under Duluth's Aerial Bridge at 1:16 p.m., followed by a salty named the HERALD sixteen minutes later.

In 1922 the PERE MARQUETTE 16, as the barge HARRIET B. collided with the steamer QUINCY A SHAW, and sank off Two Harbors, Minnesota.

On 3 May 1840, CHAMPLAIN (wooden side-wheeler, 225 t, built in 1832 at Chippawa, Ontario) was carrying general merchandise when a storm drove her ashore four miles south of St. Joseph, Michigan. Although abandoned, she was later recovered and rebuilt.

On 03 May 1883, lightning struck and set fire to the barge C F ALLEN while she was loading at North Muskegon, Michigan.  She burned to the water’s edge.  Her loss was valued at $6,000, but she was not insured.

Data from: Al Miller, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 04

On May 4, 1958, the JOHN SHERWIN  entered service. If the Sherwin remains laid up until May 28, 2005, not counting the winter lay-ups the vessel has experienced, she will have been in lay-up for half of her life on the Great Lakes. She last sailed on November 16, 1981.

On her maiden voyage May 4, 1976, the ST. CLAIR (2) departed Sturgeon Bay for Escanaba, MI to load 39,803 gross tons of iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor, IN arriving there on May 5th.

The OREFAX ran aground on May 4, 1963 way off course near Manistique, MI. She was lightered and pulled off by the Roen Salvage Co. and made her way to Toronto, Ont. where she discharged her cargo and left for repairs.

The tanker VENUS (2) suffered an explosion on May 4, 1972 when the crew were cleaning tanks while at anchor waiting for the fog to lift about seven miles west of the Eisenhower Lock in the Seaway. Two explosions rocked the ship killing her skipper, Captain Stanley, and injuring three crewmen.

On 3 May 1840, CHAMPLAIN (wooden side-wheeler, 225 t, built in 1832 at Chippawa, Ontario) was carrying general merchandise when a storm drove her ashore four miles south of St. Joseph, Michigan. Although abandoned, she was later recovered and rebuilt.

On 04 May 1839, ATLAS (wooden schooner, built in 1836 at Dexter, NY) was carrying building stone from Chaumont Bay to Oswego, New York when she foundered 6 miles from Oswego.  The steamer TELEGRAPH rushed out of Oswego to assist her but only found a little flotsam.  All five on board were lost:  Capt. Asahel Wescott, Ortha Little, William Ackerman, John Lee and Asa Davis (a passenger).

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

Today in Great Lakes History - May 05

WILLIAM CLAY FORD (1) (Hull#300) was launched at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works, May 5, 1953.

The MERCURY (2) collided with the bulker ERNEST T. WEIR on May 5, 1964 near the mouth of the St. Clair River. The tanker suffered severe bow damage, the result of her faulty steering gear.

On May 5, 1980 the SHARON grounded in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River. She was freed on May 7th and proceeded to Monroe, MI and was laid up there on May 8, 1980. No repairs were made and she never sailed again.

On May 5, 1914 the GEORGE F. BAKER was traveling downbound in Lake Superior in dense fog with 10,500 tons of iron ore from Ashland, WI. She ran hard aground on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle River, on Upper Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula.

May 5, 1914 - An unusual cargo, two "Jack Johnsons" (Navy guns) were hauled by the PERE MARQUETTE 17.

The small schooner ST PETER was loaded with grain when she sank 35 miles from Milwaukee on 5 May 1874. The crew reached shore in the yawl.

The steam barge KITTIE M. FORBES was launched in Bay City, MI on 5 May 1883. She was owned by Capt. William Forbes and named for his daughter. Her keel was laid on 1 December 1882. Her dimensions were 195' keel, 209' overall, 35' beam and 14' depth. Her engine was built by Samuel F. Hodge.

On 05 May 1902, MILWAUKEE (steel propeller freighter, 325’, 3327 gt) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company (hull #55) at South Chicago, Illinois for the Western Transit Co.  She lasted until 1940 when she was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 06

On May 6, 1984 the CANADIAN RANGER sailed from Port Weller on her maiden voyage to load coal at Toledo, OH.

In 1944 the HILDA (2) and the barge MAITLAND NO.1 started the rescue operation of freighter GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (1) which sank in a collision with the D.M. CLEMSON (2) in the Straits of Mackinac.

This day in 1923 the EDWIN E. SLICK was struck by the steamer J. LEONARD REPLOGLE in the ice on Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior.

The HARVEY D. GOULDER entered service on May 6, 1906.

On May 6, 1934 the ROYALTON (1) helped rescue the steamer TEN which had lost power in a Lake Superior ice field and required a tow to safety.

On May 6, 1975 while unloading iron ore at Conneaut, OH, a leg and bucket from no.2 Hulett gave way and fell into the RALPH H. WATSON's cargo hold. A crane was rigged to remove the wreckage. A nine by twelve foot patch was required on her port side tank which was holed in the accident.

On 6 May 1847, CUBA (wooden schooner, 89', 139 t, built in 1844 at Peninsula, NY as a brig) was carrying wheat near Point Breeze, NY in Lake Ontario when she was run down and sunk in a collision with the steamer GENESEE CHIEF. No lives were lost.

On 6 May 1858, the barkentine E. S. ADAMS began her voyage from Amherstburg, Ontario to London, England with a load of walnut timber. The transatlantic portion of the voyage took only 26 days and the vessel was back on the Lakes in September 1858. 

EASTLAND was launched on 06 May 1903 at the Jenks Ship Building Company (Hull #25) at Port Huron, Michigan for the Michigan Steamship Company.  She was christened by Mrs. Frances E. Perene.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 07

On May 7, 1965, the Cedarville was struck by the ocean vessel Topdalsfjord in the Straits of Mackinac during dense fog. The Cedarville sank about forty minutes after the collision with the loss of ten crewmembers.

ALGOPORT (Hull#217) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., May 7, 1979

The HUTCHCLIFFE HALL entered service on May 7, 1954.

A.M. BYERS (Hull#448) was launched May 7, 1910 at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship Building Co..

May 7, 1903 - The Benton Harbor, Coloma & Paw Paw Lake Railway was purchased by the Pere Marquette Railroad.

May 7, 1929 - The Pere Marquette notified Ludington it was interested in buying the frontage on Pere Marquette Lake that had been used by the Monroe Body Company. The city council asked $25,000 for the property, and the railroad agreed. Work on the No. 3 slip began a few months later.

On 7 May 1874, the schooner JENNIE MATHEWS was launched at Hardison's yard in Port Huron. The launch started very slowly but with the help of men pulling on ropes, the vessel slid into the Black River nicely. Her first skipper was Capt. McGifford and her owner was Mr. Hardison.

On 07 May 1954, official ground breaking ceremonies were held for the Mackinac Bridge.  It was completed three and a half years later.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 08

COLUMBIA STAR was christened May 8, 1981.

EDGAR B. SPEER was launched May 8, 1980 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., after long delay because of labor strife.

The FRED R. WHITE, JR. was christened May 8, 1979 and was named for Oglebay Norton's then vice-chairman of the board.

On May 8, 1979 the ASHLAND struck the north entry pier of the Duluth Ship Canal while outbound loaded. Thick ice blowing in from Lake Superior had interfered with her maneuverability. She dropped her anchor to lessen the impact but drifted over the flukes ripping a two by five foot hole in her bottom port side forward. She was inspected and repaired at the Duluth Port Terminal. One anchor was lost.

The CHAMPLAIN's starboard side was damaged when she sideswiped the Swedish steamer BROLAND near the lower end of the St. Clair River cut-off, May 8, 1963.

May 8. 1936 -- The Pere Marquette Railway Co. announced plans to construct a new million dollar ferry dock at Milwaukee.

The 3 mast wooden schooner FRANK C. LEIGHTON was launched at 10:30 a.m. on 8 May 1875 at Dunford & Leighton's yard in Port Huron, eight months after work on her began. She was launched complete except for her mizzen mast which was just about ready to go in position. She was named for Capt. Leighton's son. Her dimensions were 138' keel, 145' overall, 26' beam and 12' depth. She cost $20,000 and was owned by Dunford & Leighton.

The 254' wooden freighter AMAZON was launched at A. A. Turner's yard at Trenton, MI on 8 May 1873.

On 08 May 1929, GEORGE W. PARKER wooden propeller sandsucker, 105’, 143 gt, built in 1903 at Marine City, MI, formerly L. G. POWELL) was destroyed by fire and sank in the channel 6 miles south of Algonac, Michigan.  Her crew escaped in the yawl.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 09

The Saginaw was launched May 9, 1953 as the John J. Boland (Hull#417) at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.making way for the keel of the Detroit Edison (2) to be laid.

On May 9, 1951 the CLIFFS VICTORY arrived at the South Chicago yard of the American Ship Building Co. completing her 37 day, 3,000 mile journey from Baltimore. There her deck houses, stack, masts, deck machinery, rudder and propeller were installed and the floatation pontoons removed.

The ROBERT C. NORTON (2) was laid up on May 9, 1980 for the last time at the Hans Hansen Dock at Toledo.

PETER REISS (Hull#522) was launched at Superior, Wisconsin by Superior Ship Building Co.,  May 9, 1910.

On 9 May 1864, AMAZON (2-mast wooden brig, 93', 172 t, built in 1837 at Port Huron as a schooner) was carrying coal from Cleveland for Lake Superior when she went out of control in a storm just as she was leaving the St. Clair River for Lake Huron. She was driven ashore near Point Edward, Ontario and was broken up by the wave action. At the time of her loss, she was considered the oldest working schooner on the Lakes.

May 9, 1900 -- The carferry PERE MARQUETTE (15) began carferry service to Milwaukee.

On Friday night, 9 May 1873, the schooner CAPE HORN collided with the new iron propeller JAVA off Long Point on Lake Erie. The schooner sank quickly. The only life lost was that of the cook.

On 09 May 1872, the CUBA (iron propeller bulk freighter, 231’, 1526 gt) was launched at King Iron Works in Buffalo, New York for the Holt and Ensign Commercial Line.  Innovations in her design included water-tight compartments for water ballast, 4 water-tight bulkheads that could be closed if the hull were damaged, and a new fluted signal lamp that could be seen for 13 miles.  She was powered by two 350 HP engines.  She was a very successful vessel and lasted until 1947 when she was scrapped.  She was renamed IONIC (1906) and MAPLEBRANCH (1920).

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 10

101 Years ago today the steamer COLUMBIA (Hull#148) was launched by the Detroit Ship Building Co., Wyandotte, Michigan. The steamer was built for day excursions between Detroit and Bob-Lo Island. The vessel has been in lay-up since September 2, 1991 at Nicholson’s Terminal.

On May 10, 1981, the PAUL R. TREGURTHA entered service. She became the largest vessel on the Great Lakes at that time, and at least in the last 130 years, she has held the honor of being the largest vessel on the Great Lakes longer than any other vessel.

On 10 May 1858, LEMUEL CRAWFORD (3 mast wooden bark, 135', 450 t, built in 1855 at Black River, OH) was carrying wheat from Chicago to Buffalo. She ran into a heavy gale and went out of control near Pelee Passage and struck a reef 1 1/2 miles off East Sister Island in Lake Erie. She began to sink immediately and the 13 onboard scrambled up her masts and lashed themselves to her rigging. After two days, they were finally rescued by the tug R.R. ELIOTT out of Detroit.

May 10, 1922 -- The ANN ARBOR NO. 4 ran aground at Green Isle. She was released with no damage.

The first Welland Canal was opened between St. Catharine's and Lake Ontario on 10 May 1828. The first vessel to navigate this route was the schooner WELLAND CANAL. This was a new vessel having been launched at St. Catharine's on 24 April 1828.

On 10 May 1898, ISAAC LINCOLN (wooden propeller freighter, 134’, 376 gt) was launched at Anderson’s yard in Marine City, Michigan for A. F. Price of Freemont, MI and Capt. Egbert of Port Huron, MI.  She cost $40,000.  She lasted until 1931 when she was abandoned.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - May 11

On May 11, 1953, the Henry Steinbrenner went down in Lake Superior near Isle Royale with 17 of her 31 crewmembers. The storm followed an unseasonably warm and humid stretch of weather in northern Minnesota for that time of year which fueled the storm's fast growth. The high temperature of 87 degrees set in Grand Marais, Minnesota on May 8, 1953, still stands as that town's all-time record high for the month of May, and it is just eight degrees shy of the town's all-time record for any month.

The 144', 3-mast, wooden bark JESSE HOYT was launched at East Saginaw, Michigan by Smith & Whitney on 11 May 1854. Later in her career, she was converted to a schooner and lasted until 1896 when she sank in Lake Michigan in a collision.

The A WESTON (wooden steam barge, 164', 511 gt) left Mount Clemens, MI on her maiden voyage on 11 May 1882. She was built by William Dulac. Her hull was painted black. She was powered by a single 28" x 32" engine and she was designed for the lumber trade. She was sold Canadian in 1909 and was renamed CONGERCOAL. She lasted until she burned to a total loss at Fair Haven, NY on 10 May 1917. 

On 11 May 1886, OSSIFRAGE (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 123’, 383 gt) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #26) at W. Bay City, Michigan.  She was rebuilt a number of times and ended her days on salt water.  While being towed in the Northumberland Strait in the Atlantic Ocean, she struck a shoal and foundered in September 1919.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. The Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Kinsman Independent Sold to Canada's McKeil Fleet


The U.S. Maritime Administration has approved an application to sell the U.S.-registered Kinsman Independent to McKeil Work Boats Ltd. of Hamilton, Ont.

It is unknown what McKeil, which owns and operates a large fleet of tugs and barges, will use the veteran steamer for, but it seems likely she will eventually be cut down to a barge. She was last operated in the grain trade by Great Lakes Associates of Rocky River, Ohio. At time of her retirement, at the end of the 2002 shipping season, the 642-foot-long vessel was the last U.S.-flag, non-self-unloading bulk carrier sailing the lakes.

She was replaced by on the Duluth-to-Buffalo grain run by the diesel powered, 1925-built Joseph H. Frantz, which is under charter from Oglebay Norton Marine Services.

Kinsman Independent, built in 1952 at Bay City, Mich., as the Charles L. Hutchinson, later sailed for Ford Motor Co. as the Ernest R. Breech. In 1988 the vessel was purchased by Kinsman Lines (now Great Lakes Associates) to replace one of the fleet's 600-foot, coal-burning straight-deckers.

 Reported by: Brian Bernard, Roger LeLievre

 Kinsman Independent upbound at the Soo Locks late in 2002 (Photo: Roger LeLievre)


Homecoming  Could be in Works for Historic Steamer Ste. Claire


Plans are afoot to bring the former Bob-lo Island passenger vessel Ste. Claire back to Detroit for a July visit if enough money can be raised to finance the trip.

At present, the historic steamer, launched in 1910, is at Lorain, Ohio, where she is being refurbished by private owners after nearly a decade deteriorating on Detroit’s industrial waterfront. Generations of Detroiters have fond memories of riding Ste. Claire and her fleet mate, Columbia, to the down river island amusement park. The service ended in 1991.

Tentative plans call for the Ste. Claire to tie up at Wyandotte, Mich. from July 1-18 for the city's fireworks and Street Art Fair, but owners John Belko and Diane Evon of Cleveland need help with the towing fee. They are appealing to businesses and individual sponsors to help raise $35,000 in the next month.

Sponsorships are $115 each, available on the Ste. Claire's web site. Buyers get a ticket for the fireworks event and a chance to win a spot as a deckhand during the tow from Lorain to Wyandotte. It would take 325 individual sponsors to meet the goal.

“It may be that the strength of the memories is what makes this happen,” Evon, who lived in Dearborn and rode the boat with her grandparents as child, told the Detroit Free Press in a story that ran Tuesday.

Belko and Evon bought the 197-foot boat in 2001 and have spent about $500,000 of their own money on structural and cosmetic repairs that include new decking and a rebuilt pilothouse. Crews worked all winter, stripping the walls with air chisels.

For more information, visit <> or call Diane Evon at 216-402-7977.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre


Port Report



The steamer Alpena was in its namesake port early Sunday morning taking on cement at Lafarge for Milwaukee. The J.A.W. Iglehart was at the silos Saturday morning loading cargo for Saginaw and was expected to return on Monday. The Jacklyn M and her barge Integrity delivered cement to Muskegon and will likely be back in port on Tuesday.
Stoneport remained busy last week with the John J. Boland taking on cargo Tuesday followed by the Pere Marquette 41/tug Undaunted. The Joseph H. Frantz loaded early Wednesday morning. On Thursday the Arthur M. Anderson visited followed by the Wilfred Sykes which loaded stone for Bay City/Saginaw. The Sykes returned to Stoneport on Saturday for another load. The John G. Munson was at the dock on Sunday night.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain
Sykes loading on Thursday  
Another view
Sykes, stern view


Tuesday was a busy day for Rouge River traffic. The steamer John G. Munson came in during the early hours of the day and unloaded stone at Marblehead.  Other traffic included the M/V Joseph H. Frantz, which was waiting at Severstal Steel for the dock at Harridon Terminal to load a cargo of salt, as well as the M/V Algosoo with a load of slag from Nanticoke for the Blue Circle Dock.  Later traffic in the Rouge included the M/V American Mariner at the Short Cut coal dock and the M/V American Republic at the Ajax Dock with stone.

Algosoo, bow view
Stern view of the Algosoo at Blue Circle.
Rare photo of the Joseph H. Frantz tied up at the Severstal Steel slip.
Close up of the Kinsman stack
View of the stern showing the famous "Ford" watertower, which is supposed to undergo restoration.

Photos by Justin Kreimes

St. Lawrence Seaway

Under tow in the Seaway is Vigilant I, assisted by another tug and towing Barge Laviolette to Trois-Rivières. Additionally, Epinette II is towing the bunkering tanker Arca back to Montreal from Les Méchins. The tug Jerry G., which was on duty in the lakes since the end of November last year, is presently on Lake Ontario bound for Montreal.

Algocatalyst, which was supposed to go to Sorel-Tracy from Port Alfred for lay up on Tuesday, went instead to Quebec City. However, she was expected to leave there later in the day for Sorel-Tracy. It is believed her career with Algoma Tankers is at an end.

Atlantic Pendant, a sister ship to Atlantic Pride and Atlantic Patroller, might go up the Seaway in June according to the Fednav website. This vessel made a trip to Montreal in March. Another interesting vessel coming for Fednav will be the Yucatan, formerly the Golden Laker. She too ventured up the St.Lawrence River in the winter but went only as far as Bécancour.

Reported by: Rene Beauchamp

Thunder Bay

Activity in the port of Thunder Bay is picking up. Monday, local fishermen were out in force preparing their tugs for another season of fishing out on the bay and beyond. One tug is already in the water and is sporting a new hull color for this season. The Marion G was lifted from her winter land berth Pascol Engineering and was placed in the water at Current River. Last year she had a reddish colored hull and the year before it was grey. She has been out netting Whitefish for about a week and a half and is reported as doing well.

The remaining four fish tugs, Melissa, W.J. McKay, Rosaline and Marilyn Grace, are scheduled to be lifted into the water at Current River sometime on Thursday. All are being painted with a fresh coat of paint, with the Marilyn Grace sporting a slightly new paint scheme this spring. Three of the tugs sustained broken windows during winter lay-up this winter due to vandals. It is an unfortunate incident that fortunately does not happen very often while the tugs are on land.

Algontario was removed from Pascol's dry dock a couple of days ago in preparation for unknown rudder repairs on an upbound saltie. The Algontario is still rumored to be in line for repairs in order to sail again.

Other traffic in the port included Algoisle, visiting for the first time since 1999. She slid into the slip at Mission Terminals around 4:45 p.m. on Monday. After taking on a load there, she moved next door to Cargill Tuesday morning and by report time Tuesday, she was on the move again.

Algonorth arrived here Tuesday afternoon and berthed at Richardson Elevator. Salties Federal Kivalina and Scoter were also in the city. The Scoter departed Saskatchewan Pool 7a early Tuesday evening heading for Montreal, while the Federal Kivalina took up the spot vacated by Algoisle at Cargill. Other vessels in port over the last few days have been, Saginaw, CSL Niagara, Gordon C. Leitch, Algosteel, Federal Elbe, John B. Aird and Algocen.

The Port Authority of Thunder Bay, is reporting that this shipping season is already off to a great start. Boats visiting the harbor this year up to this point has been 44, compared to last year's 35 at the same time. Cargo was up roughly 200,000tons more than last year at the same time.


Marilyn Grace in the process of preparation
Marilyn Grace with new paint scheme
W.J. McKay with fresh coat of paint
Melissa getting paint from her owner, Jim Dysen
Another view of Melissa
Jim Dysen (left) and Bill McKay (owner of W.J. McKay), stand between Melissa and Marilyn Grace
Rosaline with hull primer
Marion G already in water sporting new hull color
Scoter (former Peonia) being tied up with help from Glenada and Point Valour (back)
Algontario in Pascol Engineering's Dry Dock
Koningsborg at Sask Pool 7a
Algoisle arrives Mission River
Reported by: Rob Farrow


The American Spirit arrived in Escanaba on a very windy day and turned and backed in to the ore dock. At times it looked as though she would back right into the end of the dock. Skillful handling by the captain and crew brought her in easily in spite of the strong winds.

The American Freedom, which appears to be a tour boat, was docked near the ore dock.

Reported by: Lee Rowe, Dick Lund

American Spirit backing in at Escanaba
Another view
Getting ready to load
Shiploader at the Escanaba ore dock
American Freedom


Coast Guardsmen at Kenosha Receive Awards


Four Coast Guardsmen from Station Kenosha have received awards for saving a young man’s life from the frigid waters of Lake Michigan.

On April 17, Coast Guard Station Kenosha responded to a report of an overturned canoe with people in the water.  As the 25-foot Coast Guard boat arrived on scene, the victim’s head went under the water and was unreachable by one Coast Guard member.  A second Coast Guard member reached in the water and was able to grab the extended finger of the drowning man and pull him to the surface.  After the victim was safely onboard, he was treated for hypothermia.  He was later released to a local ambulance team for further treatment.  A second victim was rescued by the local Fire Department. 

Reported by: USCG


Hollyhock Commissioned at Port Huron


It’s official. The 225-foot, $29 million cutter Hollyhock is now part of the U.S. Coast Guard fleet. She was commissioned Friday at her Port Huron home dock, in view of nearly 500 guests, crew families and other dignitaries.

Rear Admiral R.F. Silva, who is due for retirement shortly, turned over the command of the USCG Hollyhock to LCDR Michael McBrady. Silva, U.S.Coast Guard Ninth Coast Guard District, was joined by his wife Beverly, the sponsor of the ship.

With a tug on a line, Beverly Silva unveiled the quarterboard, which bears the ship’s name.

“The  crew has been trained, the systems are sound and she’s now the newest member of the U.S. Coast Guard fleet” Silva said. “Today we celebrate our future in Port Huron.”

Photos by: Frank Frisk
Christening ceremony: (From left) Mrs. Beverly Silva, Ship's Sponsor; Rear Admiral Ronald Silva, 9th District Commander USCG; Lt. Cmdr. Michael McBrady, Commander USCG Hollyhock; Chaplain Lynn Christensen, LT, USN
Hollyhock officers stand at attention
Hollyhock (note covered quarterboard)
Damage to Hollyhock from a spring collision is covered by a flag

 Reported by: Frank Frisk


Port Report


Indiana Harbor

Photos by: Paul Strickland
Stewart J. Cort unloading Thursday at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor
Close up of the Cort’s stern, showing the new ISG logo
Tug Arizona.


Last Wednesday the Wilfred Sykes made one of her increasingly common trips to Severstal Steel in the Rouge River. After waiting for the CSL Niagara to unload, she took her place in the slip. Below are images of her departing from the Rouge Turning Basin at Dix Street.

Photos by Jon-Paul Kubala
Bow View lining up for the draw at Dix Street.
View of the bow framed by the concrete bridge railing.
Stern view after clearing the Dix Street Bridge.

Earlier in the week, the Joseph H. Frantz also visited the Rouge, where she unloaded a cargo at the Ajax dock.

Bow, close up
Frantz, full view
Bow, into the sun


Wind gusts exceeding 50 mph Wednesday and Thursday help create a scene not often seen these days in the port of Milwaukee; a traffic jam. The Alpena had arrived on the 27th, but was waiting weather at the LaFarge dock on Wednesday. The Algosteel arrived off Milwaukee late Wednesday morning, but went to anchor as the winds began to build. The Charles M. Beeghly arrived just after 5 p.m. and joined the Algosteel at anchor just off the main harbor entrance. Thursday morning before sunrise the winds dropped enough to allow the Richard Reiss to enter the inner harbor and begin unloading its cargo of salt. The Beeghly followed a few hours later with its load of coal. The Reiss was tied up just behind Alpena leaving no dock space for the Algosteel. By late Thursday afternoon the Reiss had finished unloading, but an electrical problem kept them at the dock for repairs. The Reiss was able to shift down the dock opening a space for the Algosteel. With the assistance of the G-tug Arkansas the Algosteel was neatly tucked between.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Three at once: Richard Reiss, Charles M. Beeghly and Alpena  
Four at once: Alpena, Richard Reiss, Algosteel and Beeghly
Alpena and Richard Reiss
Richard Reiss unloading
Classic view: stack of Alpena and Richard Reiss

Port Huron

Traffic was as brisk as the weather on the St. Clair River Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Images from 05/01
Photos by: Roger LeLievre
Columbia Star upbound off the Junction Buoy restaurant in Marysville
Columbia Star and tanker Purha
Columbia Star and Purha
Joseph H. Thompson and Buffalo
Tanker Purha
Algoisle just after passing under the Blue Water Bridges upbound for Thunder Bay. The trip was twice delayed by mechanical trouble, but she was slated to arrive at Mission Terminal Monday afternoon.
Fred R. White Jr.
White, stern view
Algoville passes St. Clair, Mich. She was upbound for Two Harbors.
Tug Rebecca Lynn
CSL Laurentien passes St. Clair Inn
Stern view
Calumet downbound
Calumet shows off her fine lines. This is her 75th season of operation
Reserve passes McKeil tug Tony MacKay
Reserve, stern view

Images from 05/02
American Republic and Herbert C. Jackson meet
Herbert C. Jackson
Fodas Pescadores

Southdown Challenger downbound to Toledo in St.Clair River April 26. (Photo by Frank Frisk)


The Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in Marquette on a cold but sunny Sunday evening with a load of coal.

H. Lee White arrived in Marquette's lower harbor Thursday with a load of stone.  Ships bringing coal and stone to the lower harbor Shiras Power Plant dock must back in.  After backing in, rather than putting a man down to run the lines, they toss the line to a dock worker who hooks it to a pick-up truck  and pulls the lines in.

The Michipicoten continues her regular runs to Marquette.  Much of her gray paint is rubbing off, showing the old Elton Hoyt 2nd colors underneath.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

H. Lee White backing in
Paul R. Tregurtha

Mackinac Bridge
Photos by: Brian Peterson
Algoma Central self-unloader under the Mackinac Bridge
Stewart J. Cort sailing under the Mackinac Bridge
A Great Lakes Fleet boat under the Mackinac Bridge
Hope, ferry to Mackinac Island


Twin Ports
Photos by: Brian Peterson
Oglebay Norton bow shot
Under the Aerial Lift Bridge
Stern view on Lake Superior
Paul R Tregurtha bow close up with lighthouse
Stern view under Aerial Lift Bridge


The new Staten Island Ferry Sen. John J. Marchi is taking shape at Marinette Marine. The pilothouses have been added in preparation for launch this coming Saturday. Also, the Guy V. Molinari was assisted back to Marinette Marine on April 27 after a week of sea trials.

Sen. John J. Marchi on the ways
Marchi and Guy V. Molinari
Close up of Marchi stern

Reported by: Dick Lund

Saginaw River

The CSL Tadoussac called on the Essroc Terminal in Essexville late Monday afternoon to unload clinker. She departed Tuesday morning around 7 a.m. with recently fallen snow on the ground, but instead of backing out to Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay to turn around, the Tadoussac made the unusual move of going upriver to turn around at the Airport Turning Basin before heading back downriver and out to the lake. It is not known why the Tadoussac turned in the basin rather than backing out to Light 12.

Also arriving on Monday was the tug Karen Andrie and her tank barge. The pair were assisted into the river by the tug Gregory J. Busch who was pushing at the stern. The Andrie tug and barge called on the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville where they unloaded.

On Tuesday, the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons called on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to lighter a cargo of stone mix. The pair then continued upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw.  The McKee Sons was outbound Wednesday morning. 

The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was inbound behind the McKee Sons, calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload a cargo of coal.

On Wednesday the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 were inbound during the late afternoon. The pair traveled up the river to Saginaw to unload. The security call did not indicate a dock.

Also inbound late Wednesday night was the Canadian Transfer. Her security call indicated she was headed to the Sargent dock to unload.

CSL Tadoussac upbound at Wheeler's Landing (note the snow on the stone piles)
Another view
Undaunted - Pere Marquette 41 upbound at Wheeler's Landing
Tug Undaunted close up
Stern view at Liberty Bridge
Invincible - McKee Sons at Bay City Wirt
Bow view unloading

Reported by: Todd Shorkey


Pollution Cleanup Plan Would Mean Closing Hallett #6 at Duluth


A plan to clean up and cap pollutants in one Duluth bay would mean the closing of one of the bulk material docks operated by Hallett Dock Company.

The plan, which this week moved closer to acceptance by all parties, affects Stryker Bay, which has heavily polluted sediments after years of dumping by now-defunct coal tar and coke plants. The plan, which will cost $48 million to carry out, calls for dredging much of the bay and depositing the materials in Slip 6 and much of Slip 7.

The plan would mean the closing "Hallett 6," a bulk dock operated by Hallett Dock Co. near the head of navigable waters on the St. Louis River. The dock handles a relatively small number of salties and lakers each season.

The Duluth News Tribune reported that Hallett will relocate its operations at Slip 6 to the company's Dock 5 near the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway ore docks. Some operations also may be moved to Dock 8 on the Superior harborfront. The move will start at the end of the 2004 shipping season.

"We're losing capacity, going from four docks to two, but at the current time, we can handle it with two," Mike McCoshen, Hallett general manager, told the newspaper.

Reported by Al Miller


Take Tour of Buffalo Lighthouse In June


The 1833 Buffalo Main Light will be open for tours on June 13th. The $18 fee also covers a 3 hour Miss Buffalo cruise of the harbor, Niagara River, and Black Rock Canal & Locks. Call 716-627-4560 or visit

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski


BBC Peru Delivery


The J. W. Wescott Co. in Detroit was called on last week to carry a pilot and surveyor out to the saltie BBC Peru anchored in western Lake Erie. The BBC Peru had suffered a rudder problem when entering the Detroit River and returned to the anchorage for repairs. Crews onboard worked for four days to make temporary repairs to the "Becker" type rudder. Repairs were completed and ready for inspection on Tuesday, April 27. The repairs were approved and the BBC Peru departed upbound for the Soo the following morning with a tug escort for the rivers.

Westcott crew of two and two passengers back the pilot boat Huron Maid from the dock.
New lighthouse at Belanger Park in River Rouge, MI.
Traffic was light that evening but we did catch the Southdown Challenger off Fighting Island.
Stern view.
Enjoying the trip down river (L to R) Pilot Steve Habermehl, Capt. Sam Buchanan and Lloyd's surveyor Louis Ludwig.
View forward.
We tried to catch the Oglebay Norton who was heading for Monroe, she is seen here turning for the Livingstone Channel.
Grassy Island Light.
City of Wyandotte water intake crib.
Down bound.
Heading for the Livingstone Channel.
North end of the Livingstone Channel, this channel was blasted from solid rock and is used for down bound traffic in the Detroit River.
Stern view in the channel.
View from the bow.
At the "Hole in the Wall"(homes on Bob-Lo Island in the back ground)
No chance of catching the Oglebay Norton.
Downbound as the sun sinks lower.
Onto Lake Erie.
Setting sun.
Oglebay Norton on the right, BBC Peru's cabins can be seen over the horizon on the left side of the picture.
Heading for the Detroit River Light.
Fermi II power plant in the back ground.
Sun sets behind the Detroit River Light.
Capt. Buchanan sets course for the BBC Peru.
No boats, another sun set shot.
Continuing on, view from the Maid's stern.
Life ring.
Inside the crew and passengers enjoy the quite evening.
Tug Anne M. Dean heading for the Detroit River.
Reaching the BBC Peru.
Around the stern.
Coming along side.
Huron Maid holds fast as the surveyor goes to work.
Bow view.
About 10 p.m. the BBC Peru heads for deep water for sea trials and the Maid holds position waiting for their return.
3:20 a.m. and the lights of the Ambassador Bridge are in sight, almost home to the dock.
Approaching the Westcott Co. Dock.
3:30 a.m. and the adventure ends successfully at the dock.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss


Mariners’ Memorial Lighthouse Dedication May 15


Dedication of the Michigan’s newest ornamental lighthouse, at Belanger Park in River Rouge, Mich., begins at 11 a.m. May 15. The all-day festival includes vendors from the Edmund Fitzgerald Brewing Co., Bellavino Winery, nautical artists, live entertainment and food. The Helene, J.W. Wescott II and the new U.S. Coast Guard Homeland Security boat will be on display. Speakers include John Hartig, Dale Scarce ("The Future of the Columbia"), J.W. Westcott Co.'s Capt. Sam Buchanan, and marine artist Leo Kuschel.

Video Screening

Make a quick trip up river after the lighthouse dedication to the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle for a Special Video Screening at 1 p.m. The museum will show "The Real Queen of the Lakes - A Trip on the Edward L. Ryerson" on the big screen in DeRoy Hall. This video is one in a popular series by Andy LaBorde and documents the trip both inside and out. Come early to tour the museum, watch passing ships and take advantage of the 20 percent off sale on all items in the sales booth from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Visit  for details and directions.


Weather Blamed for Marine City Tug Crash


High winds may have been to blame in a crash involving a tug/barge on the St. Clair River near Marine City early this morning.

The tug Doug McKeil, which was pulling the barge Ocean Hauler, crashed into the Edison Dock on the U.S. side of the river after leaving a Canadian dock and turning south, according to preliminary news media reports from the area.

No injuries were sustained, and the vessels were not damaged. They continued on their way to Amherstburg, Ont. There was, however, some damage to the dock. Vessel traffic in the area was not affected.


Algoisle Fits Out, Heads for Thunder Bay


4/30 UPDATE: After experiencing engine trouble in southern Lake Huron, Algoisle was towed to Sarnia's North Slip Thursday afternoon by the tug Menasha. It is unknown how long repairs will take. Canadian Olympic is also in port for unspecified repairs, and Maumee is still in lay-up status.

ORIGINAL REPOT: After four years of inactivity, Algoma Central Marine's bulk carrier Algoisle resumed service this week. After departing Hamilton, she passed upbound through the Welland Canal Sunday bound for Thunder Bay and a load of grain.

The vessel was built in 1963 as Silver Isle.

Reported by: Alan Howard, Barry Hiscocks

Algoisle at the Homer Bridge in the Welland Canal
Entering Lock 4
At Lock 3


Mackinaw Museum Idea Gets Cold Shoulder at Cheboygan


A committee of city officials has recommended that the city of Cheboygan, Mich., not become involved as an entity to take over the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw after the ship is decommissioned in 2006.

The next step would be for any local citizen's groups to explore the venture - then other communities will get their chance to bid on preserving the giant icebreaker.

Behind the recommendation was the cost of turning the vessel into a museum, and projecting the number of tourists who would come to see the ship and what they would pay for admission.

"The city isn't in a position where it can assume an operation that is 'iffy' in any way," City Manager Scott McNeil said. "There's no way that the four of us on the committee could imagine bringing in the kind of numbers to justify putting the city in that position."

He said that financing the day-to-day upkeep of the ship would go well beyond the dollars needed to convert it to museum status. There were also the questions of how to display it and where to provide for the ancillary services needed to make the attraction accessible to visitors.

"To keep the Mackinaw here in the river we were looking at an annual operation cost of $500,000, and that assumed we could arrange land acquisition and the cost of being able to drydock the boat, arrange parking, and it just went from there," he emphasized.

 "We know there's a lot of interest out there to keep the Mackinaw here,"

McNeil said. "I think it will come to a point where Cheboygan will need to say they'll take it or not, but the citizens will now get their chance to look at the project. After that, the hope is that the ship will at least stay in the Straits area."

The Mackinaw has been based in Cheboygan for many years.

Reported by: Cheboygan Daily Tribune

Mackinaw at her Cheboygan dock in 1998  (Photo by Roger LeLievre)


Rochester Residents Turn Out to Greet Spirit of Ontario


Hundreds of onlookers were on hand Tuesday to greet the fast ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 as it arrived in its new home port, Rochester, N.Y.

Spectators waved, and the crew eagerly waved back. And the Rochester Yacht Club fired its cannon several times as a salute to welcome the vessel, which had just completed a more than 15,500 nautical-mile journey from its birthplace in western Australia.

”It’s one of those great sights that I will retain forever,” Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson Jr., told the Rochester Democrat Chronicle. “For those who said this day would never come, I told you so. It’s here.”

The $42.5 million ferry, which will travel between Rochester and Toronto, could be a boon for economic development as tourists travel through the country’s newest
international border crossing, supporters say. There is some skepticism, though, about whether the project will be as successful as advertised.

The first day of service, which has been delayed due to an accident the vessel suffered in New York harbor a few weeks ago, has not been announced.

Still ahead is the official transfer of the vessel from Austal Ships, the Australian shipbuilder that delivered the vessel, to Canadian American Transportation Systems. The ferry must also be inspected by both the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada.

The Coast Guard also announced that there are no plans to shut down the Genesee River to boat traffic when the ship cruises in and out of the port. The agency had been worried about smaller boats getting in the way of the ferry or being pushed around by the jet wash. But after watching the ship pull in, the Coast Guard decided the ferry would not pose a hazard.

However, the Coast Guard will enforce a 25-yard security zone around the ferry while it is docked. Anyone violating that space faces a $10,000 fine.

The ship will make about a dozen trial runs between Rochester and Toronto to familiarize the crew with the voyage.

Reported by: The Rochester Democrat-Chronicle

Spirit of Ontario 1 arrives at Rochester. Note the Coast Guard vessel enforcing the security perimeter. (Photo courtesy Jack McKie)


Sundew Could Be Open to Public By July 4


The Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, the group that will take over ownership of the USCG Sundew when the vessel is decommissioned next month, hopes to have her open to the public by the Fourth of July.

Plans are also in the works to allow groups to spend the night on the vessel.

The DECC already owns and operates two historic ships tied up at the DECC docks: the ore carrier William A. Irvin and the tug Lake Superior.

Dan Russell, an official for the DECC, told local TV station KSTP that “What we are trying to do is get something that really represents Duluth and Lake Superior, that's appropriate for the harbor.  What's exciting about the Sundew, it not only served the harbor, it was launched here.  It’ll be a complete homecoming.”

On May 27 the Sundew will motor the half mile from the Coast Guard base to the dock at the back of the DECC.  Delivery is free, but ‘shipping and handling’ will cost the DECC $2,500. 

Meanwhile, KSPT rode along on the Sundew’s last icebreaking mission and reported mixed feelings from crew members. 

Quartermaster Jesse Martus is among those who are sentimental about the old boat.  "I love this boat, he said.  “I love the technology of it. I love the shape of the vessel, how round it is. I know the sounds of it, the sound of the engine.  I can almost tell what rpm it's at when I'm sleeping at night. I sleep better on this boat, than I do at home. I do."

Mike Davis, another crewmember said, "It is kind of cool just knowing I'm one of the last crew that's on this boat."  

This is a particularly emotional trip for skipper Stephen Teschendorf.  He has an unusual honor.  He is the last commanding officer of the Sundew and he will be the first man to take charge of the ship that will replace her, the Alder.

"It's great to able to write the last chapter of the Sundew, the older ship. And then be involved with writing the first few chapters of the Alder."

Reported by: KSTP-Duluth, Dave Wobser

Sundew in Marquette recently (Photo by Lee Rowe)


Owners to Invest $90 Million in Mines This Year


Owners of Minnesota taconite facilities plan to spend nearly $90 million this year on capital improvements for their mines and processing plants, according to a state report.

"The reason behind it is that the two big companies, U.S. Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs, are doing better," Peter Clevenstine, the report's author, told the Duluth News Tribune. "They have to feel that when they put their money into a plant, that there is a payback."

The owners' planned investments represent a sharp increase from the $37.7 million spent in 2003 and $49.4 million in 2002.

Among this year's spending:

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and Laiwu Steel Group -- new owners of the former EVTAC mine -- plan to spend $10 million at the facility, now named United Taconite.

Ispat Inland Inc would like to increase its pellet capacity. If additional capacity is approved, more money could be invested into the plant this year.

Reported by: Al Miller


Port Report


Welland Canal

Monday Images

Fednav's Federal Schelde in
Port Colborne harbor approaching Clarence Steet bridge above Lock 8.  Passing the Ron Hon Paul J. Martin, the remains of Algogulf and Kinsman Enterprise are visible in the background.
Canadian Miner exiting Lock 7 downbound on her way to Port Cartier.
English River upbound at Port Robinson.
Panamanian flagged tanker North Defiance upbound clearing Lock 7.
American tanker Gemini waiting in Lock 6 for traffic.

 Reported by: Bill Bird

Green Bay

April images from Jason Leino

Alpena inbound Green Bay
Alpena unloading
Alpena departing Green Bay
Calumet tying up to the dock
Calumet at C. Reiss coal dock
Calumet - another view at the dock
Cason J. Callaway arriving Green Bay
Callaway - bow view
Callaway getting ready to unload
Catherine Desgagnes bow view
Desgagnes - stern view
Earl W. Oglebay and tug Indiana
Earl W. Oglebay departing Green Bay
Fred R. White Jr. throwing off lines at Western Lime
Great Lakes Trader unloading stone at Western Lime
McKee Sons at the Fox River Dock
McKee Sons departing Green Bay
Menominee at the K&K dock
Tugs pushing the Menominee
Philip R. Clarke - bow view
Clarke unloading stone at Great Lakes Calcium


Monday was a busy day at Marquette, with the Wilfred Sykes, Michipicoten and Kaye E. Barker all taking turns at the upper harbor, and the Adam E. Cornelius arriving late in the lower harbor.

Herbert C. Jackson is expected in on Thursday at the upper harbor, and the H. Lee White with stone in the lower harbor.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Photos by Kris Rowe
Wilfred Sykes, bow view
Sykes, wide view
Michipicoten, wide view
Kaye E. Barker
Barker’s cabins, scraped for painting
Adam E. Cornelius arriving late at the lower harbor


Expected in Montreal Thursday will be the general cargo Balticland, which will proceed to Toledo after her stop in Montreal. She is one of the oldest salty to go up the Seaway, having been built in 1977.

On March, 19, 1990, when named Pollux, a violent explosion ripped open hatches while the vessel was loading toxic waste at the port of La Baie, Quebec (Port Alfred). On May 17, she entered the Seaway heading for Port Weller Shipyard where she was repaired. She emerged from there with a new name, Nomadic Pollux. She became Balticland last year.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Fast-Ferry Update


Photos by: Ron Walsh
Spirit of Ontario 1 in the St. Lawrence Seaway Monday. She has a 9 a.m. Tuesday arrival time for Rochester, N.Y.
Another view
Stern view

Video by Peter Carter
Entering the Iroquois Lock
Leaving the Iroquois
Under the International Bridge at Ogdensburg

Lake Express, seen recently at her shipbuilder's dock in Mobile, Ala. Her current ETA for Milwaukee is May 17. She is now awaiting sea trials, and her trip into the Great Lakes will take about two weeks. (Photo courtesy Zizzo Group)


Port Report



Last week was active in the Alpena area. The Buffalo brought a load of coal to Lafarge last Thursday evening. On Friday the Pathfinder unloaded a cargo of dolomite at Stoneport, then took on a cargo of stone. The Joseph H. Thompson was anchored offshore and loaded after the Pathfinder.

Also on Friday, the American Republic arrived in Alpena around 6:30pm and headed into the Thunder Bay River to deliver another load of coal for the Louisiana Pacific plant. The Republic brought the first load of coal to the plant back in January. Anchored out in Thunder Bay was the Saginaw, waiting for the departure of the Republic so it could come into the river. The Saginaw came in between 1-2 a.m. and proceeded to unload sand at the Alpena Oil Dock on the other side of the river.

On Saturday morning, the J.A.W. Iglehart was inbound into Lafarge and the Saginaw was heading out into the horizon. The Iglehart departed before noon and was headed to Detroit and Cleveland. The Steamer Alpena was expected into Lafarge Sunday afternoon depending on the weather. The Jacklyn M barge Integrity has been delivering to ports on Lake Michigan and will be back in Alpena sometime on Monday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain

American Republic arriving
American Republic at the dock
American Republic stern view
Pathfinder loading


The Michipicoten continues to make her regular runs between Marquette and Algoma Steel.  The CGC Sundew made her last stop at Marquette on Thursday.  She will be decommissioned in May.

 Lee A. Tregurtha came into Marquette with coal and then took on a load of ore.  She is sporting her other bow anchor again, after having it returned to her on her last trip.

The Philip R. Clarke made an unusual trip to Marquette with a load of petcoke on Saturday.  Many boatwatchers lined up to see her approach.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Sundew docked at Marquette's lower harbor park
Lee A. Tregurtha, bow view, sporting both anchors
Wide view
Philip R. Clarke approaching, bow view
Approaching, turning
Approaching, fishing boat near
Bow view, at the dock

Clarke passes the breakwater light as it enters Marquette’s Upper Harbor Saturday (Brian Halbrook photo)

Cleveland Images

Cuyahoga backing out of the Cuyahoga River through the Conrail Bridge.
Tug California inbound the Cuyahoga River for their dock in the old river bed.
Another view
California, stern view
Barge D2006 & tug Valerie B outbound the Cuyahoga.
Fred R White Jr loading at Lakefront.
Another view
Sunken tug at Gordon Park.
Tug Bonnie G at Gordon Park.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Twin Ports
Indiana Harbor arriving in the Duluth shipping canal. (Friday)
Presque Isle just off the Duluth piers in some large waves. (Thursday)
Stern view as she heads under the Aerial Lift Bridge. (Thursday)
Marllis T departing Duluth shortly after the Indiana Harbor arrived. (Friday)
Marllis T with the outer lighthouse. (Friday)
Middletown on the open waters of Lake Superior just after departing Duluth. (Friday)
Paul R Tregurtha arriving Duluth with the tour boat Vista Star. (Friday)
Reported by: Brian Peterson

Veerseborg at the General Mills elevator in Duluth. (Sunday). Photo by: Glenn Blaskiewicz

Saginaw River

The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. arrived at the Consumers Power Plant Dock in Essexville around 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.  She finished unloading just before 7, but was delayed at the dock for two inbound vessels.

The Fred R. White, Jr. was at the front range around 9 p.m. with stone for the Bay Aggregate Dock in Bay City.  This is the first visit of the season by an Oglebay Norton vessel.  She was outbound early Friday morning

Following inbound was the combo, Joseph H. Thompson - Jospeh H. Thompson, Jr. was passing the front range at about 11:30 p.m.  They stopped at the Sargent Dock in Essexville to lighter before continuing upriver to the Saginaw Rock Products dock to finish unloading.  She was delayed over three hours on her downbound trip like she was on her last visit.  This time due to maintenance work on Liberty Bridge.

Also outbound from Saginaw  on Thursday was the Algoway where she had unloaded at an unspecified dock.
Also on Thursday, the Great Lakes Trader - Joyce L. VanEnkevort lightered at the Sargent Dock in Essexville before heading upriver to a Zilwaukee dock to finish.  The pair returned to the Saginaw River early Sunday morning with a split load for the Wirt Stone Docks in Bay City and Saginaw.
Reported by: Todd Shorkey

Welland Canal

Shipping activity on the Welland Canal on Thursday, April 22, 2004.
BBC Peru in Lock 3 in the Welland Canal.
BBC Peru departing Lock 3 upbound.
John B. Aird raising in Lock 7 with a load of iron ore for Burns Harbor, Indiana.
Aird passing the Gemini above Lock 7.
English River tied up at Port Colborne, Ontario.
Peter R. Cresswell passing under Bridge 5 heading downbound for Lock 3.
Peter R. Cresswell entering Lock 3 with a load of salt for Bowmanville, Ontario.
Dust collectors recently installed on the Cresswell for cement cargos.
Remains of Algogulf (left) and Kinsman Enterprise at Port Colborne.

Reported by: Philip Nash


The new Staten Island Ferry Guy V. Molinari has been on sea trials for the last few days. On Saturday afternoon as the Molinari was returning to dock at Marinette Fuel & Dock as the Chios Pride arrived off Marinette. The Chios Pride was assisted up to the William H. Donner in a strong wind by the Selvick tugs Jimmy L and Carla Anne Selvick. The Chios Pride is unloading a cargo of pig iron from Brazil.

Also this weekend, the new Staten Island ferry John J. Marchi was moved out to the launch area at Marinette Marine. The launch is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 1. Launch time will be posted on the info search page as soon as the date is confirmed.

The Virginiaborg departed Menominee early Sunday morning after loading wood pulp.

Reported by: Dick Lund, Scott Best

Chios Pride approaches the lighthouse
Close up inside the piers
Tugs holding Chios Pride while mooring alongside the Donner
John J. Marchi on the ways at Marinette Marine



Spirit of Ontario In Seaway on Way to Rochester


The twin-hulled catamaran ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 , nicknamed “The Breeze,” arrived in Montreal at sunrise Saturday morning on her delivery voyage to Rochester, N.Y. Despite various reports, she is not yet flying the flag of convenience of the Bahamas. Her port of registry is Freemantle and the Australian flag was still flying at the stern Saturday afternoon.

The vessel entered the Seaway at CIP 2 Sunday, shortly after 7 a.m. By Sunday afternoon, she was at Beauharnois waiting for winds to die down.

Another catamaran will transit the Seaway later this year, this one for Lake Michigan, the Lake Express.

Reported by: René Beauchamp, Kent Malo

Photos by: Kent Malo
Spirit of Ontario 1, showing catamaran hull
Spirit of Ontario 1, underway at Montreal

On board Saturday
This is where the foot passengers will enter the vessel. There is a set of doors on both sides, to the right is a duty free shop, the stairway on the left leads to the business class lounge and seating for all classes
Rows of comfortable seating. There is a cafeteria in the center of the vessel
Passenger lounge located at the forward end of the vessel, offering a panorama view
The console and seating area of the person operating the vessel, note the numerous navigating screens above and at eye level
The vehicle deck, with doors fore and aft, it is being used in the mean time for storage of materials
The Cats logo emblazoned on the port side of the vessel
This is what the operator sees while seated at the console on the bridge
This is where the captain controls the vessel while docking and leaving. The ship has one such station located on either side of the vessel

The next set of photos were taken Sunday
Spirit of Ontario 1 skimming across Lake St. Louis towards Lock 3 at Beauharnois
Spirit of Ontario 1 in Cote Ste. Catherine lock, resembling a giant manta ray. A vehicle loading door is at center. She's a tight fit with a beam of 78 feet, only a foot to spar on each side of the lock
Spirit of Ontario 1 exiting the Cote lock in the south shore canal flying the Australian flag and with Fremantle as her home port painted on her stern. The  life rings indicate Nassau as her port of registry


Fast-Kat Pulls Out of Lake Michigan Cross-Ferry Service


A company that planned to start Lake Michigan passenger ferry service between the Twin Cities and Chicago has shelved the proposal and reportedly gone out of business, according to a recent story in the Benton Harbor News Palladium.

LEF Corp. of Grand Rapids did not have the funding to follow through on its plan to operate a high-speed ferry during the warm weather months, said Cindy LaGrow, executive director of Berrien County Economic Development.

LaGrow said the company informed her it was dropping the project for the second consecutive year.

"LEF has pulled out and disbanded," she told the newspaper. "However, I believe the future is bright for the service."

LaGrow said that although LEF did not succeed, the idea of a cross-lake ferry service has sparked a lot of community interest. "We're discussing trying to do some prospecting for private companies in ferry service," LaGrow said. "They (LEF) had an extremely good idea, and I think the market is there for it."

LEF announced in December that it would attempt to start Fast-Kat Ferry Service in May. The company attempted a start-up in 2003 but lacked sufficient money and was not able to lease a vessel.

A different company, Lake Express, will begin its own fast-ferry service from Muskegon to Milwaukee June 1.

Reported by: Benton Harbor News Palladium


Weirton Steel Sold to ISG


A federal bankruptcy judge approved the $237 million sale of Weirton Steel Corp. to Ohio‚s International Steel Group last Thursday, saying he was convinced the company can no longer survive on its own.

Although the sale is painful to many parties, it is the only alternative to secure the future of the mill and its 3,000 employees, said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge L. Edward Friend II.

Friend rejected a creditors group’s arguments that ISG’s offer was too low and that the time line for the auction made it impossible for third parties to participate. He ruled that the selling price was fair and reasonable, and that other potential bidders had adequate time to make an offer.

He also said ISG dealt with Weirton in good faith and that other prospective bidders had equal access to the company, its records and its union.

Friend said he studied the company’s history and found it was losing an average of $100 million a year since employees bought it from its previous owner in 1984. “This company cannot stand alone,” the judge said. “It can’t run on $100 million losses per year.”

The acquisition of Weirton would make ISG the nation’s largest steelmaker in terms of production capacity, ahead of U.S. Steel.

Reported by: Frank Frisk


Cutter Sequoia Delivered to U.S. Coast Guard 


The U.S. Coast Guard officially accepted the Coast Guard cutter Sequoia Wednesday in a ceremony aboard the vessel. The cutter was launched at Marinette Marine Corporation on Aug. 23, 2003 and has since been undergoing outfitting and sea trials. This date marks the first day the ship's crew will take responsibility for the cutter and the cutter will be placed into a temporary “In-Commission Special” status. The cutter's official commissioning will take place at her homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam. 

Sequoia is the fifteenth Juniper Class Seagoing Buoy Tender and the tenth “B Class” cutter built by Marinette Marine Corporation. Currently the Coast Guard has contracted for eleven “B Class” cutters. The “B Class” cutters will join the five “A Class” cutters built by Marinette Marine that are operating worldwide

Sequoia’s primary missions are Aids to Navigation, Marine Environmental Protection, Search and Rescue, and Domestic Ice Breaking.  The principal characteristics of Sequoia are: Length: 225 ft, Beam: 46 ft, Draft: 13 ft, and Displacement: 2,000 Long Tons. The major equipment aboard Sequoia will be 2 Caterpillar 3608, 3100 Brake Horse Power Engines for propulsion which will power a single shaft, Bird Johnson Controllable Pitch Propeller; a Bow and Stern thruster, which provide 460 and 550 Horsepower respectively; in addition to one 20 Ton Hydraulic 60 foot telescoping beam Appleton Crane.  Power generation is to be provided by 2 Caterpillar 3508, 450 kilowatts generators. 

The cutter is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Matthew Meilstrup. She carries a crew of eight officers and 42 enlisted who become the “plankowners” of the new vessel.

Reported by: U.S. Coast Guard


Security on Increase at Port of Montreal


The Port of Montreal is upgrading its security system to meet tough new international standards, corporation president Dominic Taddeo told The Canadian Press Tuesday.

He said the upgrade is part of a federal review of security plans for Canadian ports amid concerns about crime and terrorism.

"We'll be issuing new identity cards that will allow us to improve on these (current) identity cards," he said at the corporation's annual meeting.

The Canadian government will enforce new security regulations introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency. The IMO has asked all maritime operators to implement a number of measures by July 1, including restrictions on unauthorized weapons and limited access to vessels and docks.

Similar new regulations are also scheduled to take effect at U.S. ports, including the Great Lakes, July 1.

Ports on both sides of the border have been under close scrutiny for two years following reports that said the waterfronts were beset by sporadic policing and lax security-pass systems.

An international consulting firm, Bureau Veritas, is drafting a new security plan for the Montreal port that includes more entry gates and restricted access. An official with Veritas described holes in the current security perimeter.

He said at one port entrance in Montreal "there is no gate, there is no control, people can go in there. By July 1st, there's going to be gates and controls and stuff like that," he said.

The ports of Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax were singled out by the March 2002 Canadian Senate report as vulnerable points of entry into Canada. All have since announced improved security measures, including 24-hour surveillance and bomb-detection sweeps.

Reported by: The Canadian Press


Nothing Lamb-Like About March Limestone Trade


Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled nearly 500,000 net tons in March, the strongest start for the trade since 1998, and nearly double the month's five-year average.  It should be noted, however, that the harsh winter of 2002/2003 delayed resumption of the stone trade until April, so a comparison with a year ago would be misleading.

For the year, the lakes stone trade stands at 750,000 tons, again more than double the 5-year average for the January-March timeframe.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association


New Ferries to be Named John J. Marchi and The September 11th


New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has announced that the second and third new Staten Island Ferry boats will be named the John J. Marchi and The September 11th.

Staten Island Ferry riders are anticipating the arrival of three new boats being built by the Manitowoc Marine Group in Marinette, Wis. Each will carry about 4,500 passengers and up to 40 vehicles. The three boats cost nearly $120 million and they will replace the Kennedy Class Boats, which are nearly 40 years old.

The first boat in the fleet, named after Guy V. Molinari, was christened in Wisconsin on Sept. 20, 2003, and will be ready for passenger service by this fall.

Senator John J. Marchi has served in the New York State Senate since 1957. Recently, he was recognized by the National Conference of State Legislatures as the longest serving legislator - at all levels - in America.

“The September 11th is a name that recognizes “everything Staten Island has given our City,” Bloomberg said.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre


Spirit of Ontario May Be In Rochester Early Next Week


The Spirit of Ontario ferry left New York City on Monday morning, continuing its trip from Australia, and is expected to arrive in  Rochester early next week, depending on weather.

The ferry has been at a shipyard in New York City, undergoing repairs after it hit a pier April 1 at South Street Seaport. The $42.5 million vessel suffered a gash and hole in its side above the waterline.

The maiden passenger voyage, which had been scheduled for April 30, has been delayed by the accident in New York. Canadian American Transportation Systems, the private company starting the service, has not announced a new launch date.

Reported by: Kent Malo


Port Report



 The new Marinette Marine-built Staten Island ferry Guy V. Molinari was towed from MMC Wednesday by the Basic Marine tugs Escort and Erika Kobasic. They took their time going through the Ogden Street bridge and then headed for the open water of Green Bay and her first day of sea trials. Not wanting to have to pass back through the bridge, the Molinari docked behind the William H. Donner at Marinette Fuel & Dock for the night. Several days of sea trials are projected.

 In other news, the Virginiaborg entered the Menominee River around 8 p.m. Tuesday night. She was carrying a load of wood pulp for a local warehouse. Wednesday afternoon she shifted from the warehouse's east (deep draft) dock to the west dock and will probably leave sometime on Thursday (weather permitting).

Reported by: Dick Lund

Photos by: Dick Lund
Close-up of the Molinari with the Escort in the front and the Erika Kobasic trailing
The tow passes through the piers out into the bay
(L to R) William H. Donner, Viking I and Virginiaborg at the West Dock

Photos Courtesy Marinette Marine Corp.
Guy V. Molinari departing on sea trials Wednesday. The tug Erika Kobasic assists. Note new Coast Guard cutters at Marinette Marine
Side profile
Another view


Monday evening the M/V Fred R. White Jr. made a relatively rare trip to the Rouge River to deliver stone to the Ajax Dock just above the Conrail Bridge. “Fast Freddy” departed the Rouge stern first heading to the fuel dock at 10:45 p.m.
White, bow view approaching the Jefferson Ave. Bridge
Stern view after clearing the Jefferson Ave. Bridge

Photos by: Nathan Nietering
Arthur M. Anderson docked at the Marblehead Dock in the Rouge before unloading a cargo of stone 4/3/04
Another view
McKee Sons/Invincible unloading a cargo of aggregates at the Jefferson Marine Terminal in the old Rouge Riverbed  4/10/04
Algorail looks like it got converted to a straight decker. Seen across from Zug Island, unloading a cargo on the Detroit River  4/11/04 

Twin Ports

Early morning boatwatchers in the Twin Ports got an eyeful Tuesday as eight vessels loaded, unloaded or waited for berths. On the Duluth side, Vancouverborg was backed into the AGP berth to load, Herbert C. Jackson was docked at the port terminal waiting for a grain berth at CHS in Superior, Canadian Prospector was unloading at St. Lawrence Cement, Atlantic Patroller was unloading bentonite at Hallett 6, and Cason J. Callaway was way up river unloading stone at the Reiss Inland dock. On the Superior side, CHS had a rare early season two-fer with Ziemia Lodzka loading in berth 1 and Quebecois loading in berth 2. Columbia Star was at the nearby Midwest Energy Terminal loading coal.

Reported by: Al Miller

Photos by: Brian Peterson
Atlantic Patroller at Hallet #6
Canadian Olympic arriving
Canadian Olympic under the Aerial Lift Bridge
Earl W Oglebay unloading at Cutler Stone
Close up of bow
Federal Polaris loading at AGP
Tug Minnesota
Tug North Dakota
Stern View
Pilot boat on its way out to a saltie
Vancouverborg at Port Terminal waiting to loat at AGP
Ziemia Gornoslaska departing Harvest States
Ziemia Lodzka, assisted by tugs

Atlantic Patroller loading
Atlantic Superior silhouette
Stern view under the Blatnik Bridge
Canadian Prospector at St. Lawrence Cement
Callaway sailing under bridge
Columbia Star departing into heavy wind
Herbert C. Jackson
Quebecois at Harvest States
Roger Blough arriving


The Michipicoten is making regular runs between Marquette and Algoma Steel at the Soo. Also in on Tuesday was the Charles M. Beeghly with a load of coal. She then took on ore. The H. Lee White is expected in with stone later this week, and the Joe Thompson and Lee A. Tregurtha should be coming in for ore.

Reported by: Lee Rowe, Art Pickering

Photos by: Lee Rowe
Marquette Breakwall Light on a calm day
Charles M. Beeghly, bow view

Beeghly, wide view, unloading coal


Canada Steamship Lines's Spruceglen arrived in Halifax April 17 for one week of maintenance. She is showing signs of a rigorous winter's work on the bauxite run from South America to Port Alfred. Painting will not be part of the work however - it's still too cold in Halifax.

Once alongside, she pumped out most ballast and her bowthruster is completely clear of the water. Her bulbous bow is also completely clear, and her keel is visible beneath. She will not be reflagged, and has lots of work according to a CSL official.

The tanker Algosar left the graving dock at Halifax Shipyard Ltd. on April 19. She had been in the drydock since April 7 for regular maintenance. On April 20 she shifted to the Imperial oil refinery to load.

Reported by: Mac Mackay

Saginaw River

On a very windy Monday morning, the J.A.W. Iglehart was inbound the Saginaw River passing through Bay City around 7:30 a.m. She continued upriver to the LaFarge Terminal to unload cement. The Iglehart was outbound for the lake on Tuesday morning.

The Joseph H. Thompson was also inbound a few hours behind the Iglehart. Thompson stopped at the Wirt dock in Bay City to lighter before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock.  This is the first cargo delivered to either of the Wirt docks this season.  The Thompson & Thompson Jr. were outbound late Monday night.  The pair ran into problems as the Central Michigan Railway bridge was in the closed position blocking the channel.  After over an hour of waiting, the bridge opened and they were on their way to the lake.

Tuesday morning saw the Richard Reiss calling on the Saginaw River for the first time for her new owners. The Reiss stopped at the Bay Aggregates dock to lighter and then continued upriver to the Buena Vista dock to finish unloading. She made a quick stop at Bay City Wirt on the way upriver to allow the downbound J.A.W. Iglehart to pass.  The Reiss was outbound Tuesday afternoon.

Reported by: Todd Shorkey

Photos by: Todd Shorkey
Richard Reiss at Wheeler's Landing
Stern view
Agawa Canyon inbound at Wheeler's Landing last week
Stern view

Photos by: Steven Hause
J.A.W. Iglehart upbound on its first visit of the season, April 7.
Great Lakes Trader, outbound from Saginaw, April 13.
Joseph H. Thompson, unloading at Wirt Stone Dock, Saginaw, April 19.
J.A.W. Iglehart, alongside E.M. Ford, April 19. Crew members appear to be doing some welding on the hull from a workboat.

Welland Canal Images

Shots taken along Welland Canal Tuesday April 20th.
Algoway upbound clear of Lock 7
Catherine Desgagnes downbound approaching wall above Lock 7
BBC Ecuador upbound clear of Lock 2 on her first visit to Welland

Reported by: Bill Bird


The veteran Joseph H. Frantz began her 79th season late last week when she fit out and left winter lay up at Toledo’s old Interlake Iron Dock. This year, as last, she sails for Great Lakes Associates under charter from Oglebay Norton Marine Services. She was due at Stoneport today.

American Spirit docked Tuesday night in Toledo at the CSX #2 dock, reportedly for repairs to a clutch. Repairs were completed and she was upbound past Detroit early this morning.

Oglebay Norton's self-unloader Wolverine is also reported fitting out this week. There is no activity around Buckeye and Courtey Burton at this time.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman, Ben McClain

Owen Sound

Saginaw is the first grain carrier in Owen Sound this season. She is among the first to use the relatively new hopper for self-unloaders (Frontenac was the first and only ship to use it last year) at the Great Lakes Elevators.

Reported by Ed. Saliwonchyk, Brook Shipp

Photos by: Ed. Saliwonchyk
Bow view unloading grain at Great Lakes Elevators in Owen Sound
Stern view

Quebec Harbor

Mariam IV ( Panama), former Lady Franklin, heading east Sunday after pilot change
Canadian ice-reinforced bulker Arctic unloading concentrated nickel from Deception Bay in the Canadian Arctic at Beauport terminal on the St. Charles
Ocean Express, one of the two fast summer pilot boats on station in Quebec Harbor
Small freighter Emily-C (Isle of Man) en route for the port of Trois-Rivieres
Quebec Pilot Station with Emily-C changing pilots, the harbor tug Ocean Charlie to the left and the Federal Venture, arriving from Brazil

Reported by: Frederick Frechette

News Archive - August 1996 to present

Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping

Comments, news, and suggestions to:

Copyright 1996 - 2004 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Due to frequent updates, this page will automatically reload every half hour

Advertising through Great Laker